Skip to main content

We will keep fighting for all libraries - stand with us!

Full text of "The Good Fight"

See other formats

[The true story of the man who started as ayoungrevolutionary 
to fight against the American people and their flag,- who fought 
bravely, who surrendered and gave his parole in Bataan, who 
took to his heart the great democratic principles of America, 
who inculcated them in his own people, and who forty years 
later threw himself and his brave countrymen back into 
the hell of Bataan and Corregidor when the American flag 
was attacked by a treacherous enemy, This story is told in 
President Quezon's own words.] 

By Manuel Luis Quezon 

Late President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines 

General Douglas Mac Arthur 


whose courage in the presence of the greatest 
dangers, and whose devotion to me and to 
the cause for which we were fighting, was 
my inspiration during those dreadful days on 
Corregidor, and on our long journey since then 


(Mote: The following Introduction was prepared by General Douglas 
MacArtbur in 1941 and sent to President Quezon in Washington. 
President Quezon died August i, 1944). 

I AM honored to comply with the request of the author 
of this book to write the introductory note. My only 
regret is that, I must do so at a time when the pressure 
of military campaign is such that I cannot give it the 
leisure it deserves. For President Quezon's book, about to 
be published at this time, is an invaluable contribution to 
the war effort of his country as well as to that of the United 
States. It carries with it the message of a liberty-loving 
people hurled against those who would trample under foot 
man's most precious heritage, freedom. 

Manuel L. Quezon is the President of the Commonwealth 
of the Philippines. He has been twice exalted to that eminent 
position by the peaceful suffrage of the Filipino people. When 
he speaks, however, he does not do so merely as the official 
representative of his country. He speaks as the acknowledged 
leader of a race that has raised him to dominance for the last 
two decades. When he writes, therefore, of the stirring days 
of American occupation of the Philippines, of the fruitful 


results of America's unique colonial policy, and stresses the 
gratitude of his people for what America has done in the 
Philippines, he is in effect firing the deadliest of weapons 
against the enemy - he is telling the story of a nation that was 
given by the United States a new birth of freedom achieved 
in a manner unparalleled in the history of colonization. 

From the shadows of Corregidor in a proclamation to the 
Filipino people he said: "The determination of the Filipino 
people to continue fighting side by side with the United 
States until victory is won has in no way been weakened 
by the temporary reverses suffered by our arms. We are 
convinced that our sacrifices will be crowned with victory 
in the end and in that conviction we shall continue to resist 
the enemy with all our might." From the beginning he 
has pledged complete loyalty to America. As far as he is 
concerned, there shall be no half-way measures, no cowardly 
compromise with the national destiny. 

He has been called by more than one American writer 
one of the greatest of living statesmen. With uncanny 
premonition, he created on the first day of his administration 
as President, the Philippine national defense program. The 
army that was the result of this foresight proved in battle the 
wisdom that created it, and has passed into immortality. His 
decision to continue the struggle is of a piece with that first 
premonition. It springs from the same well of tested wisdom, 
and the issue will be the same. His career spans the most 
glorious half century of Philippine history. His biography 
is the history not only of that epoch but of the Philippines 


as a modern nation. He has fought innumerable battles and 
won them all. And well may he now say, after the character 
in Browning's poem: 

"I was ever a ficjbter, so — oneficjbt more, 
The best and the last!" 

To-day he is fighting, at the head of his people and side 
by side with America, the greatest battle of all - a battle that 
shall determine, perhaps for centuries to come, the fate of his 
people. God cannot fail to bless him in so sacred a cause. 

D o uglas Mac Arthur 

June 18, 1942 
Melbourne, Australia 


IN THE last months of the year 1 899, the division under 
the command of General Arthur MacArthur, the father 
of General Douglas MacArthur, made an attack against 
the bulk of the Filipino Army and practically destroyed 
it. This compelled the President of the short-lived Philippine 
Republic, General Emilio Aguinaldo, to seek refuge in the 
mountains of northern Luzon and drove my chief, General 
Tomas Mascardo, up into the hills of western Pampanga. 
From there General Mascardo transferred his headquarters 
to the forests of Bataan, on the China Sea coast between 
Bagac and Morong. A council of war, held by the Filipino 
generals under the presidency of Aguinaldo, himself, had 
decided that, at the proper time, guerilla warfare would be 
resorted to by the Filipino forces. When it became evident 
that organized resistance to the American Army was no 
longer possible, it fell to my lot to command the guerillas 
that operated on the tip of the Bataan Peninsula. This spot, 
forty years later, was destined to be the last stronghold of 
the combined American-Filipino forces against Japanese 
invasion under the gallant and superb leadership of General 
Douglas MacArthur. 

In the spring of 1901, General Mascardo ordered me to 


surrender to Lieutenant Miller, the officer in command of the 
American garrison in Mariveles, among other reasons for the 
purpose of ascertaining if it was true that General Aguinaldo 
has already been captured by General Frederick Funston in 

On January 18, 1936, two months after my inauguration as 
the first President of the Philippine Commonwealth, I visited 
the fortress of Corregidor, which lies just off the tip of Bataan, 
upon the invitation of the then Commanding General of 
the Philippine Department, Major General Kilbourne, who 
accompanied me on the trip. 

While the presidential yacht, S.S. Arayat, which took us 
to Corregidor, was struggling against strong winds and big 
waves to dock at the pier, I heard the firing of the salute due 
my rank. The scene before my eyes suddenly took me back 
to by-gone years. The contrast between the memories of the 
past and the realities of that day filled my heart with an over- 
powering emotion. Thirty-five years before, I had walked 
down the slopes of Mariveles Mountain, a defeated soldier, 
emaciated from hunger and lingering illness, to place myself 
at the mercy of the American Army. Thirty- five years later, 
there stood at the pier of Corregidor, facing that majestic 
mountain, the American General in command of the fortress, 
with a full American regiment at attention, waiting to render 
me honors second only to those paid the President of the 
United States. What a contrast! What an indescribable 
history of generous conduct on the part of the victor 
towards the vanquished! In the short span of a generation, 


America, the conqueror, through a policy unprecedented in 
colonialism, had permitted that I, one of the conquered, be 
raised from the lowest rung of the ladder to the highest seat 
of authority in the gift of my people! 

What had happened to me vividly illustrates the great 
human experiment which the United States had successfully 
carried out in dealing with the Filipino people. 

Is it any wonder that, when the American flag was attacked 
by Japan, the people of the Philippines stood by the United 
States to the bitter end? 

The following pages - showing my life as a rebel against, 
and as a supporter of, the United States - are more than 
mere accounts of my personal experiences. They in effect, 
portray the struggle of the Filipino people in their quest 
for freedom, first against and then in support of the great 
republic of North America. 

My aims in writing this book are: first, to keep alive in 
the memory of the American people the service rendered 
by the Philippine Army in the heroic defense of Bataan and 
Corregidor,- second, to throw into bold relief the fruit of 
America's policy in the Philippines, namely, the voluntary 
sacrifice made by the Filipino people of their lives and their 
fortunes, fighting side by side with the United States against 
a common foe,- and third, to offer, inferentially, a pattern 
which may be followed if the redemption of the teeming 
millions of subjugated peoples is ever to be attempted. 



IN THE past twenty-eight years, it has been my 
privilege to publish a number of books - some of serious 
import and permanent value, and others intended only 
to divert and amuse the reader. Both such types have 
their place and function. 

Well as I have known many authors, this is the first 
occasion on which I have felt impelled to have a personal 
part, however insignificant, in the actual presentation to the 
reading public, of a book bearing my Company's imprint. 
But the circumstances are unusual. 

The author of this book is to me more than an author,- 
for thirty-seven years, he had been my close personal friend. 
I first knew him when I was a member of the Philippine 
Commission and Secretary of Public Instruction in 1907. He 
had been elected a member of the First Philippine Assembly 
and I always had to speak to him in Spanish for he knew 
hardly any English at that time. Many have been closer 
to him in the recent years of his high public responsibility, 
but no one, I venture to hope, has followed his signally 
successful and enlightened public career, and his splendidly 
sincere and human private life, without realizing that he is 
one of those few who, from every race, in every epoch, and 
under whatever seeming handicaps, raise a flaming torch of 


progressive leadership by which their fellowmen may steer. 

For nine years, I had besought my friend, Manuel Quezon, 
to write a book of his experiences. While he never refused, 
there was always some claim with a priority on his time and 

It took the Japanese attack on his country and its consequent 
bringing him in exile to this, his second fatherland, to drive 
him to sacrifice his well-earned rest, and give of his harassed 
mind and body, in producing this, to me, fascinating story of 
a genius unconsciously earning its just reward. 

In the sub-title, it is stated that this story is in President 
Quezon's own words. That is literally true. Every page of 
it, except three short chapters indicated later, which were 
given by him in recorded conversations, was dictated by him 
in English to his own Filipino secretary, Senor Serapio D. 
Canceran, and written out in English. 

Then it reached my desk, day after day, and I changed a 
word here, a tense there - all too trifling to be mentioned. 

Then it went into type. 

President Quezon necessarily wrote almost entirely from 
memory, since his diaries and personal documents either 
were left in Malacanan Palace, the Philippine "White House," 
before he joined General MacArthur on Corregidor, or fell 
into the hands of the Japanese who captured the launch, 
Princess of Necjros, off the town of San Carlos in the Island of 
Negros on March 16, 1942. 

To those privileged to hear Manuel Quezon speak to his 
countrymen in his native Tagalog, as I have, even without 


understanding him, and to those who have heard his 
impassioned addresses in perfect Castilian - as I often have 
- it is a rare treat to see the man reveal himself, with the 
candor of a child, in a difficult foreign language of which be 
knew not a word until long after becoming of age. 

I am rash enough to say that the brave Filipino people 
could have had no finer paladin. 

W. Morgan Shuster 

New York City, 
August 18, 1944 
























President Manuel Luis Quezon frontispiece 
The village of Baler, President Quezon's birthplace facing page 
The beach at Baler 

The house in Baler where President Quezon was born 

Mrs. Quezon before her marriage 

A corner of the old Spanish Walled City in Manila 

Parian Gate in the old Spanish walls, opposite which 
was the dungeon where President Quezon 
was confined 

Ayuntamiento Building, Manila, which contained the 
offices of the early American Governors and 
members of the Philippine Commission 

New Post Office Building, Manila 

Legislative Building, Manila 

The Escolta, principal business street of Manila 

President Quezon standing at attention to receive the 
nineteen-gun salute after taking the oath of 
office as first President of the Philippine 
Commonwealth, on November 15, 1935 

General view of inaugural ceremonies of President Quezon 
in Manila, in front of the Legislative Building 

Malacanan Palace and grounds from Malacanan Park 
across the Pasig River 

Executive Building adjoining Malacanan Palace 


Malacanan Palace garden along the Pasig River 
Mrs. Quezon's library in Malacanan Palace 
The family dining-room 

President Quezon after reviewing the Philippine 
Military Academy Cadets in Baguio in 1936 

President Quezon congratulates General MacArthur 
on his appointment as Commanding General, 
United States Armed Forces in the Far East, 
July 26, 1941 

Pier Seven on the modern water-front at Manila 

Scene at the mouth of the Pasig River, Manila 

Residents of Cavite evacuating the town after Japanese 
bombing raid of December 10, 1941 

Reception hall of Malacanan Palace 

Head of main stairway 

President and Mrs. Quezon and their children on the 
porch of Malacanan 

Arch erected by the tenants to Mrs. Quezon on her 
birthday, February 19, 1940 

School teachers and pupils on the President's farm at 
Mount Arayat 

Mount Arayat Hospital, inaugurated February 16, 1941 

Mrs. Quezon with the manager of the farm, the doctor, 
and aides-de-camp of the President 

Port Area between Pier Seven and Manila Port 
Terminal Building, bombed by the Japanese on 
December 24, 1941 


Coast Artillery Unit of the Philippine Army leaving 
Manila for Corregidor 

Mrs. Quezon, Mrs. MacArthur, President Quezon, 
young MacArthur, Miss Maria Aurora Quezon, 
in the bomb defense tunnel on Corregidor 

Wounded Filipino soldiers awaiting medical attention 
at an advanced dressing station in Bataan Peninsula 

Unit of Philippine Scouts moving into Pozzorubio on 
December 20, 1941 

In Washington, President Quezon greets Lieutenant 
John D. Bulkeley, U.S.N., who piloted the Navy 
torpedo boat which conveyed the President and 
his family and party to the point of departure 
in the southern Philippines for Australia 

President Roosevelt greets President Quezon of the 
Philippine Commonwealth, and his family, at the 
Union Station in Washington on May 1 3, 1942,- 
Mrs. Quezon, Manuel Quezon, Jr., President 
Quezon, President Roosevelt, Captain John Mc- 
Crea, Miss Maria Aurora Quezon, Miss Zeneida 

President Roosevelt signs the United Nations Agreement, 
as the Philippine Commonwealth and Mexico 
become new members during Flag Day ceremonies 
at the White House, in the presence of representatives 
of the twenty-six original United Nations 

President Roosevelt has a word with President Quezon 
of the Philippine Commonwealth, after the sign- 
ing of the United Nations Agreement 


First Philippine War Cabinet Meeting held in Wash- 
ington at the Commonwealth's office building, 
1617 Massachusetts Avenue: Vice-President 
Sergio Osmena,- Lieutenant Colonel Andres 
Soriano, Secretary of Finance,- Resident 
Commissioner Joaquin Elizalde,- President 
Quezon,- Major General Basilio Valdes, Secretary 
of National Defense,- Jayme Hernandez, Auditor 

President Quezon addressing the House of Representa- 
tives on June 2, 1942 

The Pacific War Council meets on the occasion of 
Mr. Churchill's visit to the United States in 
June, 1942 

President Franklin D. Roosevelt 

General Douglas MacArthur 

Mrs. Quezon 

Facsimile of a portion of President Quezon's tribute to 
General Manuel Roxas 


HE people of the United States will never 
forget what the people of the Philippine 
Islands are doing these days, and will do 
in the days to come. As president, I wish 

to express my feeling of sincere admiration for the fight they 
are now making. I give the people of the Philippines my 
solemn pledge that their freedom will be redeemed and their 
independence established and protected. The entire resources in 
men and materials oj the United States stand behind that pledge." 


message to the Filipino people on December 28, i94i 



FROM the lips of my mother, I learned that I was 
born in Baler, on August 19, 1878, at seven o'clock 
in the morning. Since no Filipino resident of Baler 
at that time had a watch — for they were all too 
poor to own even the cheapest kind — I asked her how she 
knew that it was seven o'clock in the morning. "They were 
ringing the church bells for the first time," she answered. I 
understood. The 19th of August was the "town fiesta" of 
Baler — the feast-day of the patron saint — and it was both a 
civic and a religious holiday. Under the old Spanish regime, 
on such occasions, there was a high mass at eight o'clock 
in the morning and before the mass started they rang the 
church bells three times — the first at seven, the second at 
seven-thirty, and the third at eight, just at the moment when 
the priest started from the sacristy to the altar. 

My mother, who was a very devout Catholic, added: "My 
boy, nothing happens in this world by accident. Everything 
answers a divine purpose. I believe that the fact that you 
were born on the day of our patron saint is indicative of 
God's will that you follow the vocation of priesthood." 

On the other hand, my father, who had been a sergeant 
in one of the regiments of the Spanish Army, insisted that I 


should be a soldier. As a boy he dressed me in the uniform 
of a "Cabo de la Guardia Civil" or Corporal of the Civil 

Now let me say something about the town fiesta in the 
Philippines or the feast of the patron saint. 

Up to December, 1941 , it was the greatest day of the year 
for every town in the Islands. The streets were adorned with 
beautifully woven arches of split bamboo, decked with palm 
leaves. The brass band which is the pride of every town in 
the Philippines played without rest throughout the day and 
on into the night. Fireworks lighted up the evening sky. It 
originated this way. As is well known, the conquest of the 
Philippines by Spain was undertaken both for the glory and 
aggrandizement of the Spanish monarch and the conversion 
of the inhabitants to the Catholic faith. With Legazpi, the 
conqueror, went the Augustinian friar, Father Urdaneta, the 
missionary. As the conquest proceeded and a town was taken 
by the Spaniards, the friars consecrated it to a patron saint. 
The patron of Baler is Saint Luis, Bishop of Toulouse. Hence 
my middle name, Luis, given to me by my mother. 

The custom in the Philippines was that the day before the 
celebration of the fiesta everybody came to town, even the 
poorest and those who lived in the farthest barrio. Since 
there were no hotels, those who came to celebrate found 
shelter in the house of a relative, of a friend, or of the family 
who owned the land they were cultivating. Every house was 
full of people who were tucked away as best they could be. 
The well-to-do kept their houses open to guests all day long, 


and every table groaned beneath the weight of food. No 
visitor might leave his host's house until, whether hungry or 
not, he had eaten and drunk at the hospitable board. 

The most important part of the fiesta, however, was 
the high mass celebrated in honor of the patron saint and 
attended by all who came from far and wide. All wore their 
best clothes, and many poor people spent their savings and 
even ran into debt to show themselves and their children to 

For the expenses of the public entertainment during the 
fiesta, which usually lasted three days, contributions were 
collected. Of course, there was a cockfight — the national 
"sporting gamble" — during the fiesta. The cockfights always 
started after the mass and continued until late afternoon. 
Then the public entertainments began, sometimes with the 
Carrera de anillo or tilting at "rings" made of gay ribbons. Each 
ring was given by a fair maiden of the village, and each young 
gallant tried to carry off his lady love's ring, so that he might 
wear her colors for the day. 

At night, they had a mow-mow and, at times, Spanish 
comedies, depending upon the financial capacity of the 
townspeople to use only local talent or to import actors from 
Manila. The mow-mow is a play in the native tongue where 
the protagonists are on one side, a Christian prince with his 
court and army and on the other, a Mohammedan potentate 
also with his court and his army. The plot was taken from 
Spanish literature in vogue before Cervantes wrote his Don 
Quixote — which effectively killed the earlier sort of novel. All 


the characters were dressed in costumes of the ancient times, 
with plenty of gold tinsel and plumage. In the spirited fight 
with swords and spears which ensued upon their meeting, 
the Christian prince was, of course, the victor,- sometimes 
single-handed he killed the infidel hoarders. 

This particular year of Our Lord 1878, my father 
celebrated the double event of the birth of his first son and 
the town fiesta of Baler, not wisely, but too well. So often, 
indeed, did he look upon the fiery drink with Americans in 
the Philippines called Bino that before evening came he had 
lost all further interest in the proceedings. This unfortunate 
slip from the straight and narrow path made my mother very 
unhappy, for in those days, to be under the influence of liquor 
was considered in my country almost a disgrace. Hence, my 
disagreeable reaction to the sight of people who are drunk, 
although I enjoy a cocktail or two before meals and a bottle 
of good wine or beer with my food. 

When I first saw the light of day, Baler was but a tiny and 
almost inaccessible village. It lies at the mouth of the Aguang 
River on Baler Bay, a few miles north of Cape Encanto, which 
sticks out into the vast Pacific Ocean. A ship's small-boat 
could not cross the river bar except at high tide. Forty-five 
miles to the north there lay the little town of Casiguran, 
accessible only by sea. To the south of us the nearest town 
was Infanta, a village which likewise could be reached 
only by sea and was seldom accessible during the typhoon 
season. Directly back of the coastline lay a range of trackless 
mountains rising from three to six thousand feet in height 


and sparsely inhabited by wandering bands of Ilongot head- 
hunters, the fiercest of the pagan tribes. Inland from Baler, 
up the river and on the long journey toward Manila, there 
was in those days only the most primitive and hazardous of 
trails to the nearest human habitation through some thirty 
miles of jungle and up and down steep declivities,- this path 
frequently forded the crystal river in which the best fresh- 
water fish in the world were found. Finally, by this forest 
track one reached the frontier village of Pantabangan. The 
journey was, in those days, made either afoot or on the back 
of a spirited little stallion. 

Baler was then an enchanting paradise on earth,- the hardy 
inhabitants lived on their tiny rice fields,- an abundance of 
fish was to be found in the sea and the rivers,- and deer were 
hunted with bow and arrow in the mountains. 

Baler became famous in the last days of Spanish rule 
because of the heroic siege of the town in which a small 
Spanish garrison held out until long after held out until 
long after peace had been declared between America and 
Spain. My father was a Tagalog, born in the suburb of Paco 
in Manila. In his youth he was drafted into the infantry 
unit that Spain maintained in the Philippines, composed 
entirely of Filipino soldiers, officered with few exceptions 
by Spaniards. He retired at the end of his regular term as 
sergeant. His love of adventure took him to faraway Baler. 
There he met my mother, a Spanish mestiza, the belle of 
the town, who was the school- teacher for the girls. (Co- 
education was then prohibited.) Since my father was 


soon appointed the school-teacher for boys, they formed 
a friendship which carried them to the altar and held 
them together for life. Each of them as teacher received 
a salary of twelve pesos ($6.00) a month, a sum which in 
Baler was quite an income for those days. They also had a 
rice paddy of some two acres which gave them enough for 
the yearly sustenance of the household, and what they did 
not consume they exchanged for fish, venison, or pork, 
which with our own poultry, fed us well. 

In a community as poor and as primitive as Baler, we 
were considered the number one family. We were the only 
family who could speak Spanish and could converse in their 
own tongue with the three Spanish officials stationed in 
the town — the military governor of the district who was 
a captain in the Army, the parish priest, a Franciscan friar,- 
and the Corporal of the Civil Guard whose whole force 
consisted of at most six men. The reason for keeping this 
detachment in my town — not every town had it — was 
to protect it against the Ilongotes who were then head- 
hunters, and occasionally from ambush attacked travelers 
between Baler and Pantabangan, cut off their heads, and 
took them home as trophies. The worth of an Ilongot 
amongst his tribesmen was measured by the number of 
skulls he collected, including those of other Ilongotes 
from different localities, for they cut off heads without 
discrimination. Whenever the Ilongotes attacked Christian 
Filipinos, the Guardia Civil, accompanied by townsfolk 
armed with spears and arrows, would go to the mountains 


and inflict a severe punishment upon these savages. 

There was also great deal of brigandage during the 
Spaniards regime, and the duty of the Guardia Civil was 
to go after these bandits. However, while the towns of 
Pantabangan and Bongabong to the west of Baler and Infanta 
to the south, were pillaged now and then by bandits, these 
never dared to attack Baler because it was known that it had 
been the custom in our community from time immemorial, 
when the Moros were pillaging the coastal towns, for every 
man to rush to the public plaza with his bolo and spear 
or bow and arrow, and with these primitive weapons to 
resist the pirates. They also helped one another when we 
there was fire or some other public disaster like a flood or 
typhoon. The sense of community interest was so high that 
every Sunday the men gathered after mass in the municipal 
building to discuss matters of common importance, and the 
decisions arrived at by a majority vote of all those present 
were obligatory for all, including the mayor and the other 
municipal officials. The mayor of the town presided over 
these meetings and the other public officials attended them. 

My mother taught me to read and write Spanish, the four 
fundamental rules of arithmetic, and my catechism. 

When I was about five years old, I got angry with a boy 
my age and size and slapped him in the face. My father saw 
me and beckoned me to approach him. "Don't slap anybody 
in the face," he said. "When you must hit some one do it 
with your fist. A slap in the face is more than a punishment, 
it is an insult." 


The following year, I did something my father did not 
approve of. Instead of calling me to account immediately 
he let it go until the following day,- so I did not know he had 
caught me. "Did you do anything yesterday morning that 
I have told you not to do?" he asked. I answered, "No, sir." 
He slapped me in the face. "Do you remember what I told 
you about slapping a man in the face?" "Yes, sir," I said. "A 
liar deserves no respect and may well be insulted," was his 
stern admonition. "Always tell the truth regardless of the 
consequences," he added. 

From that time on, I have never concealed my feelings or 
my thoughts from either friend or foe. I have heard or read 
that in politics one cannot be too frank without being sooner 
or later politically ruined. My personal experience does not 
sustain this theory. I have never been defeated in any of the 
innumerable political battles I have gone through. People, I 
think, are more indulgent with the weaknesses and mistakes 
of public men if they avow them candidly. It may sound 
presumptuous, but it is a fact, nevertheless, that few men in 
public life have held the confidence of their constituents as 
continuously and as long as I have. Since 1905 I have been 
holding elective public office without interruption and always 
in the ascendant, although my opponents have accused me 
of every crime of commission and omission. 

When I was seven, my parents sent me to live with the 
Spanish Franciscan friar, the parish priest of Baler, who had 
agreed to teach me religion, geography, history, and Latin. 
Father Teodoro Fernandez was a saintly but severe man. I 


still remember how he pulled my ears when I did not study 
my lessons or got into some mischief. 

After I had been living under the roof of Father Fernandez 
for over one year, Father Angulo, the parish priest of Palanan, 
where Aguinaldo in 1901 was captured by Captain Funston, 
came to spend a few weeks with his brother Franciscan in 
Baler. One morning after saying his mass Father Angulo 
invited me to go with him to the beach and take a bath. It 
was the month of January when the northeast monsoon blows 
hard on the east coast of Luzon. The waves rolling straight 
from the vast Pacific were big, as they always are during the 
monsoon season,- sometimes they are almost mountainous,- 
and the undertow is very strong. Two young men, both good 
swimmers, came to bathe with us. One was my first cousin, 
and the other also a relative. A tremendous wave knocked 
down the priest and me and the undertow carried us out to 
sea. Our companions came first to my rescue as I was the 
more helpless, and with great difficulty they succeeded in 
saving me. They went back for the priest afterwards, but 
they could not find him. Help came from the town but to 
no avail. At five in the afternoon the corpse was carried to 
the beach by the current. It was my first near-meeting with 
death, a meeting which in after life has been repeated more 
than once. 

Two years later, when Father Fernandez was transferred 
to the main house of the Franciscans in Manila, my parents 
asked him to take me with him to be his mess boy in order 
that I might pursue my studies in San Juan de Letran College. 


I stayed in the Franciscan convent for one year until Father 
Fernandez was again sent to the provinces. Then my father 
took me to the house in Manila of a cousin of his, married to 
an officer of the Spanish Army where my room and board 
cost twelve pesos a month. I was not happy in this house. 
In the first place, it was more than half an hour's walk to my 
school in Intramuros — the historic Walled City — and I had 
to go to and fro four times every day. In the second place, my 
uncle treated me, as well as his own children, rather roughly. 
So I requested my father, when I started my second year in 
school, to take me away. My dear parents, after discussing 
the matter between themselves, called me and said, "We 
have decided to enter you as boarder in San Juan de Letran. 
The cost of your stay there including your matriculation 
fee and incidental expenses will amount to more than both 
of us making every year from our salaries, but we have 
saved some money and our savings plus what we can sell 
from the products of our farm will be enough to put you 
through college until you take your A.B. degree. After 
that, if you desire to take a course in law or medicine or 
prepare for the priesthood [the only professions besides 
pharmacy then being taught in the Philippines] you must 
find some way of supporting yourself and paying for your 

I became a boarder in the College of San Juan de Letran. It 
was not long before I was having fist fights and taking active 
part in every conspiracy to break the rules of the house. Since 
the rod was then still considered the only means of keeping 


order and discipline, I was receiving almost daily doses of 
this medicine. However, my teachers were relatively lenient 
with me because I always admitted my guilt. 

It took me five years to graduate as a Bachelor of Arts, 
Summa Cum Laude. On such occasions, the Governor- 
General used to attend and preside over the exercises, and 
I had the great privilege of being called to shake hands with 
him. I was dazzled by the unexpected honor. 
Although the trip from Manila to Baler was a hard one, I 
always longed to visit my home during vacation time. The 
journey took a week and was made partly in a carromata, a 
sort of buggy, the rest of the way either on horseback or 
afoot. The trip, besides being tiresome, was dangerous, for 
along the trail through the mountains the traveler was likely 
to be ambushed by the Ilongot head-hunters unless there was 
a large party composed of men armed with spears, arrows, 
and bolos, or perhaps some one carrying a shotgun. In that 
case, regardless of the number constituting the party, the 
Ilongotes never dared attack, for they had a wholesome fear 
of this "diabolical" device, as they called it. Since my father 
was the only man in Baler who owned a shotgun, he always 
went to Manila to take me home when vacation came. My 
visits to my home town were a source of great happiness to 
me. I enjoyed immensely the company of the illiterate boys 
of my age, just as much as I did before I went to Manila. We 
played our native games like sipa and palabasan. Baseball was 
unknown to us then. 

Two years before my graduation, my father did not let me 


come home because he could not go to Manila to fetch me. 
He was too busy trying to earn more money for his savings 
were running low and my expenses were increasing. I spent 
my vacation with classmates of mine who took me to their 
homes. After my graduation, father sent the father of my 
future wife, Uncle Pedro, for me, and upon arriving home I 
found my mother hopelessly ill with tuberculosis. The sight 
of her broke my heart. 

Later in the day my father called me aside and told me that 
they had spent everything they had for my education and 
had even incurred debts. He repeated his earlier warning: 
"If you want to go to the university, you will have to find 
means of supporting yourself." 

The following day, my father took me to be introduced 
to the parish priest. I did not know the man. We found 
him seated in one of those comfortable chairs that the friars 
invented, with his right leg up resting over one of the long 
arms of the chair. When we entered the spacious parlor hall 
the priest did not change his position. Although I had seen 
the same thing many times before when I was a youngster, 
on this occasion I felt inside me a sense of revulsion. It was 
then customary for the Filipinos to kiss the hand of a priest 
as a mark of respect. My father kissed the hand which the 
friar held out to him. When my turn came, I merely took the 
hand and shook it. 

The friar did not hesitate to show his displeasure by 
completely ignoring me. We stayed not more than five 
minutes. My father made no comment about the incident. 


Later I learned the priest said that my studies in Manila had 
spoiled me and that if he were my father he would keep me 
in Baler and after giving me a good whipping would make me 
work on the farm. 

After visiting the parish priest, my father accompanied me 
to pay my respects to the Comandante Politico Militar — the 
military governor of the district — and then to the corporal 
in command of the Civil Guard. I confess that the reception 
these Spanish officials gave us, like that of the priest, was 
no different from the manner in which the representatives 
of Spanish sovereignty in Baler used to receive my father 
when I was a boy. But this time, I saw things in a different 
light. I realized that we Filipinos were treated as inferiors 
and my racial pride was deeply hurt. In college there were 
some Spanish students who were not only indolent but plain 
stupid, and many Filipinos were superior to them in character 
and in intellect. In my innermost self, I resolved to change 
that humiliating state of affairs. 

In the ensuing weeks, I spent a great deal of time taking 
care of my mother, until one day, late in the afternoon, she 
asked me to fetch the priest because she was dying. I rushed 
to the parish house, conveyed to the priest the wishes of my 
mother, and ran back to her side. The priest followed me, 
administered her the last sacraments, and a moment later, she 
died in my arms. Meantime, I had sent for my father who, 
with my two brothers, was on the farm. When they arrived, 
all was over. My father broke down completely and after 
the burial he became seriously ill. For several months he was 


almost out of his mind. This prevented me from returning to 
Manila to start my law course. 

While in Baler, I learned more and more about the abuses 
that the three Spanish officials including the priest, then 
also a sort of public official, were guilty of in their dealings 
with the people. The Corporal of the Guardia Civil was the 
worst of the lot. He was nothing but a beast, a monster of 
lasciviousness and cruelty. He would go after young girls 
and compel their relatives through threats, to deliver the 
innocent creatures to him. Whenever he failed, as he always 
did except once, he would make good his threat by arresting 
the person who refused to help him and having him flogged 
almost to death. I realized then how despicable some of 
the Spaniards in the Philippines were, and I began to fully 
understand the why of the "Katipunan." 

To my surprise, this Corporal of the Civil Guard, Pio 
Enriquez by name, went out of his way to win my friendship. 
He would pay me a visit and invite me to his quarters which 
were also the barracks of the small detachment. One night 
he insisted that I stay for dinner and while we took our coffee 
he told me, in the most confidential manner, that he had 
fallen in love with one of my cousins. Then he insinuated 
that I should use my good offices to convince my cousin to 
yield to his advances. Knowing the man, I understood what 
he meant. My first impulse was to pull out the dagger which 
I carried on my right hip hidden under my coat and kill him. 
This deadly weapon I had started carrying with me when 
I learned what a brute this man was. However, realizing 


that to kill him then was tantamount to committing suicide, 
I repressed my anger and merely said: "You understand, Sr. 
Enriquez, that I cannot do what you are asking me to do." He 
immediately showed himself in his true color. He called one 
of his soldiers and said: "Trae el Idtigos" (Bring the lash!) The 
soldier obeyed and came back with the horrid instrument 
in his hand. I lowered my arm under the table, gripped the 
hilt of my dagger, gritted my teeth, and strained every sinew 
— determined to plunge my poniard through his heart at his 
slightest move. 

He hesitated a while, ordered the soldier to leave and, 
addressing me, said: "Did you see that lash? Unless you do 
what I want you to do I shall lash you till you are dead and 
then bury you in this yard and nobody will ever know what 
has happened to you." 

The party was, of course, now at an end. As I reached the 
last rung of the ladder of his house, I vowed to myself that I 
would get him at the first opportunity. 

All night long I tossed in my bed. I saw no escape from 
the trap I was in. I either had to commit murder or allow 
myself to be murdered. There was only one choice, and 
that same night I planned the commission of the crime. I 
would wait till the first dark evening came. There were no 
lights in the streets. I would invite him for a walk and upon 
reaching a deserted place with no houses around, I would 
attack him without warning. The thought that my dagger 
would leave his blood on my hands made me shiver with 
horror. So I decided to hit him in the head with a club and 


leave him dead on the road. For days, I could neither eat nor 
sleep. I was terrified at the prospect of being a murderer. I 
prayed to God for light. I dared not go to my father and 
seek his advice for I was afraid that he, himself, would kill the 
man. I avoided meeting Sr. Enriquez, hoping that he might 
change his mind. But one evening he came to our house and 
asked for me. In vain I tried to hide although my father got 
me out of the room. He invited me to go for a walk, but I 
excused myself on the ground that I had not had my dinner. 
He insisted, and I promised to meet him later in the town 
plaza. He left. I took no dinner,- instead I went back to my 
room and sought the intervention of my mother whose soul 
I knew was in Heaven, that the Lord might save me from the 
imminent danger that was awaiting me. I knelt on my knees 
and prayed with all my soul. 

Then I kissed my father good-night, not knowing whether 
I would ever see him again, and went out with the club which 
I had prepared for the occasion. I met Sr. Enriquez at the 
appointed place and he asked me to go to his house. As 
usual he was carrying a hardwood cane. I suggested that 
we stroll for a while and he agreed. It was a very dark night 
and there were no people in the street. I wanted to attack 
him when he was not on his guard, but the treacherous act 
was so repulsive to me that it paralyzed my arm. Finally he 
asked what I had done to comply with his wishes. I stopped. 
The blood rushed up to my head and I forgot everything. 
"Canallai" (Dirty dog!) I shouted, and hit him with the club. 
He fell, six feet long, on the ground. I thought he was dead 


and ran away from him in the direction of the hills. 

I walked the whole night without knowing where I was 
going, for I was unfamiliar with the thick forest around my 
town. Every shadow I saw I thought was a civil guard hunting 
me, and I would stop and wait until satisfied of my mistake. 
I was torn by the fear of being caught and shot, on the one 
hand, and by the voice of my conscience crying in my ears 
the word "murderer," on the other. With all the vicissitudes 
that I have gone through during my long and eventful life, 
that was the worst night I ever had. I was in complete despair 
and did not even dare to call on God for help for I thought I 
had been doomed to eternal damnation. Morning found me 
far, but not too far from the town. I was on the little farm of 
one of my relatives. 

When the woman who owned the farm arrived in the 
afternoon, on seeing me she asked: "Where have you been? 
Your father has been looking for you all morning, telling the 
people that you did not go back home last night." 

Ignoring her remarks, I inquired: "Did anything unusual 
happen last night?" 

She answered, "Yes, the Cabo de la Guardia Civil was 
heard crying for help in the thick of the night while running 
in the street,- and when the cuadrilleros [policemen] rushed 
to his aid, he told them that he had seen an evil spirit 
which disappeared instantly." (The belief in apparitions 
was still common among the Filipinos.) I breathed a deep 
sigh of relief. Neither hell nor a firing squad was waiting 
for me. I had not committed murder and my victim was 


ashamed to admit that a young man half his size had given 
him a beating. 

Now I was more afraid of my father than of the Cabo de 
la Guardia Civil. I decided to face the music and confess the 
whole business. I went home and told my father everything 
from beginning to end. Instead of reproaching me as I 
thought he would, he merely counseled me to come to him 
whenever I was in trouble. Then, with wrath in his eyes, he 
added: "That cabo will never see you again except in my 
presence, and if he ever attempts to do you any harm, I will 
shoot him." 

Three days later, the Military Governor sent for my father 
and me. He was solemn and severe. He told my father that 
I was a member of the Katipunan, that he had conclusive 
evidence in his possession proving this fact. 

Then addressing me, he asked: "Where were you at ten 
o'clock, two nights ago?" 

I paused a moment to remember if this was the night when 
I assaulted Cabo Enriquez. No, I was certain I was home, for 
the assault had taken place the night before. 

"I was at home, sir," I answered. 

"And these eyes that have seen you and these ears that 
have heard you haranguing the people and inducing them to 
join the Katipunan — are my eyes and ears telling a lie?" 

"Sefior," I retorted, respectfully but firmly, "those eyes 
could have seen me and ears could have heard me only in 
my own house." 

"Enough!" he shouted. "You will be confined in the school- 


house [it was vacation time] until I send you to Manila to be 
tried by a Military Court and shot." 

"At your order, sir," I replied. We were dismissed and my 
father who was still the school teacher, took me to the school 
house and became my warden. 

For fifteen days I was locked in the school house and no 
one but my father was allowed to see me or bring my food. 
He was forbidden to talk to me, and he complied strictly 
with the order. We only looked at one another whenever he 
came with my meals, neither of us showing what our hearts 
felt, both certain that I was a victim of grave injustice. 

At the end of the second week of my imprisonment, my 
father, with evident sign of joy in his face, came to tell me 
that I was free,- that he had convinced the Military Governor 
of my innocence,- and that the governor had consented to 
my going to Manila to pursue my studies on the assurance 
given by my father, upon his word of honor, that I would 
not join the Katipunan or be a revolutionary. My father 
had discovered that the Cabo de la Guardia Civil and, in a 
way, the priest, were responsible for my detention. Later the 
whole town learned the truth that I had clubbed the Cabo 
de la Guardia Civil, and since the Spaniards were looked 
upon by the natives not only with respect but almost with 
awe, my daring was considered as a heroic act, and the good 
submissive people of Baler hailed me as their hero. My only 
brother still living has kept the club with which I attacked 
Cabo Enriquez. 

The following day my father and I left for Manila. He still 


had no money with which to support me and was deeply in 
debt. During his illness he had received no salary as teacher 
and our farm had been practically abandoned. I told him not 
to worry, that I would work my way through the university. 

Upon our arrival in Manila, I went straight to the University 
of Santo Tomas (Saint Thomas) and presented myself to the 
Director of the Interns, Father Tamayo, who had been my 
professor in the College of San Juan de Letran, and told him 
my story. Father Tamayo immediately said: "I will give you 
free tuition and free room and board. Your work will be 
to help those students who need coaching in mathematics. 
You will also do such other work as may be given to you." I 

I told my father that I was assured of my room and board 
and that for my clothing and other necessary expenses as a 
student, I would do some other work in my spare time. My 
father was the happiest man on earth. "My son," he said, "I 
shall be going back home in two hours. I won't bother you 
with any advice. Just be good and be just to your fellowmen. 
No matter how high your station in life may be, never forget 
that you came from poor parents and that you belong to the 
poor. Don't forsake them, whatever happens." 

"God bless you," he said when we parted. I never saw him 



EST the reader may think that my days in Baler had 
been constantly spent in a gloomy atmosphere of 
pain for the death of my mother, indignation over 
the abuses of the Spanish officials, or the anguish 

resulting from the almost tragic incident with the Cabo de 
la Guardia Civil and my confinement in the school-house, I 
desire to tell a little episode of my youth which took place in 
the midst of these more serious events. 

The town of Baler was always famous for having an 
abundance of beautiful girls. At the time of which I now 
write, although only seventeen years old, I was no longer 
indifferent to the attraction of beautiful eyes and well-shaped 
figures. There was one girl in particular whose eyes were 
irresistible to me, and I quickly fell in love with her. Courting 
in the Philippines during the Spanish days was indeed a most 
trying enterprise. Girls were always chaperoned whenever 
they attended a dance, nor were they allowed out of the 
house alone. Letters through the mail, addressed to a girl, 
were sure to fall into her parents' hands and never reached 
the addressee. When a girl was visited in her home, she 


was not permitted to sit near her suitor, and some one was 
always present so that the conversation could never refer to 
anything so personal as the object of the call. In my own town 
the young man would be asked to sit on a bench — and the 
prevailing rules of etiquette required that one must not walk 
straight to the bench, but had to do it step by step,- stopping 
after each step, until the invitation to sit was repeated three 
times. Then at last the tortured victim would have the right 
to sit down. The girl would sit at the farthest point away, the 
mother or the chaperone sitting with solemn face between 

This procedure was too elaborate, too formal, and too 
burdensome for my impatient temperament. So I never 
subjected myself to the ancient ritual. There was another 
permissible manner of courting a girl more agreeable to my 
inclinations, and that was by serenading. This consisted of 
standing in front of the girl's house after the family had retired 
for the evening and, from the street playing melancholy 
tunes and singing love ditties. Some austere mothers would 
let the serenaders remain long in the street before inviting 
them to come up, doubtless in the hope that the intruders 
would get tired and leave. Usually, however, after the third 
musical selection, the lamps were lighted and the cavaliers 
invited to come up. Then would follow an impromptu dance 
which would last, depending upon the boldness of the suitor, 
until two or three o'clock in the morning. The music on 
such occasion consisted usually of only a flute or a violin and 
a guitar. I chose the serenade as a means of promoting my 


pretentions, and with two old friends who played the guitar 
and the flute, I courted the girl of my dreams. She was an 
orphan, living with her aunt, the most stern and implacable 
old lady of the town. As soon as the latter noticed that I 
was paying attention to her niece, her attitude toward me 
changed radically. She assumed that I would never marry her 
girl, and therefore condemned me a prion as a villain. I went 
about my business unperturbed. She would keep me waiting 
in front of her house with my musicians as long as courtesy 
under the code would permit, and then in a rather hard voice 
and not concealing displeasure, would ask us to come up, "if 
we wanted." Of course, we did every time and then I would 
dance with the girl and although one had to hold his partner 
at least one foot away, I still managed to whisper a word or 
two indicative of my deep personal feeling. After noticing 
that the girl was not indifferent to my advances, I used to 
carry with me whenever I serenaded her, a sheet of paper 
containing the most romantic letter I have ever produced. 
She never answered my letters, much less ever said that she 
reciprocated my love, for that was bad form in those days. 
Finally, on one occasion, I succeeded in finding her alone 
and kissed her on the cheek. 

There was no protest, but it was the end, for fate took me 
away shortly after this incident. 

The law course in the University of Santo Tomas at that 
time took seven years — one of preparatory, and six of law 
proper — and no one was permitted to matriculate who did 
not have the degree of Bachelor of Arts. Santo Tomas being 


the only university in the Philippines then — it is older by 
twenty- five years than Harvard — all the A.B. graduates from 
the different colleges who wanted to take a university course 
met in its classrooms. There I made the acquaintance of Sergio 
Osmena who came from the college of the religious order of 
Saint Paul established in Cebu, Vicente Singson Encarnacion, 
and many others who graduated from the Ateneo of Manila. 
This preparatory course in law was also attended by Vicente 
Madrigal, Juan Sumulung, Emilio Jacinto, Flaviano Yenko, 
and many more who graduated with me as Bachelors of 
Art from San Juan de Letran. Sergio Osmena and Vicente 
Madrigal, besides being my classmates, were also boarders 
in Santo Tomas, and we formed a friendship that has lasted 
throughout these many years of our lives. 

Emilio Jacinto became the secretary of the Katipunan and 
was the brains in the camp of Andres Bonifacio, the untutored 
leader during the early days of the revolution against Spain. 
Jacinto sealed with his life his love of freedom for his people. 
Flaviano Yenko became a general in Aguinaldo's army in 
Cavite, and died gloriously in the defense of Sapote bridge a 
few months after the revolution of 1 896 broke out. 

Sumulung and Singson Encarnacion became the leaders of 
the party which in popular parlance was called "Americanista." 
Sumulung became very influential during the first years of the 
American regime and was appointed by the President of the 
United States a member of the Philippine Commission, the 
body which after the establishment of the Civil Government 
exercised exclusively both the executive and legislative 


powers of the Philippine Government, and was composed 
of a majority of Americans and a Filipino minority who took 
part only in the legislative functions. 

Madrigal never entered politics,- but although he was so 
poor as a student that he was able to follow an academic 
career only by the charity of the Dominican Order, he was 
so brilliant, so hard-working and so keen a businessman that 
before he reached the age of fifty, he became one of the 
few multimillionaires in the Philippines. And may I add in 
passing that every cent he made, he made honestly and by 
the sweat of his brow. 

Osmena and I joined our political forces in the leadership 
of the Nacionalista Party — the party which from the start 
advocated immediate independence for the Philippines. For 
many years Osmena was the leader of the Party — from 1 907 
to 1922,- at that time I succeeded him as the head of the 

In my preparatory course, there were two notable professors 
— Father Farpon, the professor of physics and chemistry, 
who was a real scientist (which for a friar was exceptional, 
for generally their interest lay in the study of scholastic 
philosophy, theology, and classics),- and Father Valentin 
Marin, the professor of Spanish literature. Father Marin 
was not only a Spanish scholar, a playwright, and a poet, 
but also one of the most liberal-minded priests I have ever 
known in my life. I think only the Dominican Order, of all 
the religious orders, would have tolerated such an outspoken 
man. He went beyond the bounds of prudence at times in 


criticizing the Spanish Government and his own brothers of 
the Order. He was so popular among the students that I had 
a slight suspicion the Emilio Jacinto and Flaviano Yenko had 
hinted to him their connection with the Katipunan. 

Years had not improved my conduct. I was the same gay 
and unruly student, more inclined to make than to avoid 
trouble. However, the need of earning a little money for my 
expenses, other than my tuition and room and board which 
were free, forced me to devote a great deal of time not only 
to coaching those students whom the Director of Santo 
Tomas, Father Tamayo, put under my charge, but also other 
students who came to me for help. 

After finishing my preparatory course, I matriculated in the 
first year of law. An old Dominican priest who was teaching 
canonic law in Santo Tomas and who had become very much 
interested in me, advised me to take at the same time a course 
in dogmatic theology. "In case," as he said, "you may discover 
later that you have a vocation for priesthood." Remembering 
what my dear mother told me as a probable reason for my 
birthday falling on the feast of the patron saint of Baler, I 
readily followed the advice of the old priest. The professor 
of dogmatic theology that year was Father Vaquero who had 
been teaching in the College of San Juan de Letran during all 
the years that I was a boarder in that college. He of course 
knew me very well, and seeing me enter the classroom, he 
bluntly and in the presence of other students, asked me this 
question: "What are you doing here?" Humbly and in a 
low voice, assuming that that was the proper attitude of a 


would-be priest, I answered: "I think I am going to study for 
the priesthood." He burst into laughter and said: "Who has 
deceived you into believing that you should ever be a priest? 
Don't waste your time. Get out of here and proceed with 
your law course." Thus the career for which my mother so 
devoutly prayed was nipped in the bud. 

Discontent in the Philippines against the Spanish rule 
had then become rampant. The Katipunan was rapidly 
being extended everywhere. Although I knew from my 
own personal experience in my home town how well- 
founded was the discontent, I would not join the secret 
society because of the pledged word of my father to the 
Military Governor of Baler. 

When I was spending my Christmas vacation in the town 
of Aliaga, province of Nueva Ecija, Jose Rizal, the national 
hero of the Filipino people, was executed, after a cooked- 
up military trial, in Bagumbayan, afterwards the beautiful 
Luneta drive and park. The death of Rizal, which the Spanish 
Government thought would end the subversive agitation 
and the incipient rebellion in the Philippines, accomplished 
just the opposite. More than any other Filipino before 
him or during his time, Jose Rizal had succeeded through 
his writings in arousing the dormant if not extinct national 
consciousness among his countrymen. He opened their 
eyes to the intolerable abuses that were being committed by 
their oppressors. His martyrdom, in a public plaza, before 
the startled and weeping eyes of his people, with deafening 
cries of "Viva Espana" from the Spaniards who witnessed the 


execution, was the spark that set off the Revolution. Shortly 
afterwards there was a general uprising. 

The insurrection was started by Andres Bonifacio with his 
cjrito de Balintawak — the Cry of Balintawak — and Aguinaldo 
immediately seconded the movement with the uprising in 
Cavite. Here the insurrectos, armed only with a few shotguns 
and bolos, won easy victories and captured the Spanish 
garrison in the province. The success of the insurrection 
in Cavite astonished the Spaniards and the Filipinos alike, 
including Aguinaldo and his followers themselves. In my 
home town in Baler, at the instigation of one Luis Novicio 
Luna (an Ilocano born in Baler and up to that time the only 
one who was a member of the Katipunan), a group of about 
fifty men armed with bolos and clubs attacked by surprise 
the barracks of the Guardia Civil and another detachment of 
infantry under the command of a sergeant,- the revolutionaries 
took a number of Spanish prisoners and their rifles along with 
them. Among these prisoners was my old "friend," Cabo 
Enriquez who, despite his cruelty and despicable treatment of 
the people of Baler, was nevertheless spared from death. The 
larger part of the infantry garrison which was quartered in 
the ground floor of the Military Governor's house under the 
command of a lieutenant, escaped this attack for the guards 
were alert. My brother Teodorico, who did not know of my 
father's promise, led the attack against the Guardia Civil and 
captured Cabo Enriquez. That same night, the inhabitants 
of the town of Baler, including my father, took to the near- 
by hills with the exception of those who were caught by the 


remaining Spanish soldiers. Among them was the family of 
my future wife, whose father was sent to jail in Manila and 
was kept there as long as the first uprising started. The rest 
of the people of the town remained in the hills until the Pact 
of Biaknabato, by virtue of which the first uprising against 
Spain was ended. I kept aloof studiously from anything that 
in any way might involve me in the revolution. I meant to 
honor my father's word. I continued my studies and never 
went back again to Baler for my summer vacations. 

The rules of the house in Santo Tomas University permitted 
the boarders who were full-fledged university students to go 
out by themselves twice a week from five to seven o'clock, 
at which time the doors were closed and supper was served. 
In my second year of law, I discovered that the cook went 
home every night after supper through a side door which 
was opened for his exit. This discovery suggested to me 
the idea that whenever I pleased I could stay out until nine 
o'clock and use the cook's door to reenter the building. It did 
not take long for Father Tamayo, the director of the house, 
to discover my scheme, and one night as I entered the door 
I found him waiting for me. Without further parley, he sent 
me away for good. Fortunately, the punishment did not 
include my expulsion from the classes. Thereafter I boarded 
in a students' boarding-house in Intramuros, the Walled City, 
where the declaration of war between Spain and the United 
States found me residing. 

When war was declared, the Spanish authorities and 
newspapers started a campaign of vilification against the 


Americans. They called them infidels, for in those days a 
non-Catholic was an infidel in the eyes of the Spanish friars 
in the Philippines. We were told, even from the pulpits, that 
the Americans, unlike the Spaniards who Christianized the 
Indians in Mexico, killed the Indians living in the United 
States and took their lands. They assured us that victory 
for the invincible Spanish arms was a foregone conclusion. 
It was widely advertised that the entrance to Manila Bay on 
either side of Corregidor was so well mined that no fleet 
would dare enter unless it sought its own destruction. 

While this anti-American publicity was going on in the 
Philippines, the American Consul-General in Singapore, Mr. 
Pratt, was negotiating with Aguinaldo for the help of the 
Filipinos in the war against Spain. It will be remembered 
that after the Pact of Biaknabato in 1 896, Aguinaldo agreed 
to be exiled in Hongkong, and the beginning of hostilities 
in the Spanish-American War found him there. To this day 
Aguinaldo maintains that the Consul-General Pratt and 
Admiral Dewey had both promised him that if the Filipinos 
took the side of the Americans in that war, upon the defeat of 
Spain and the signing of the peace treaty the independence 
of the Philippines would be recognized by the United 
States. Aguinaldo says that in his conferences with these 
American officials, it was pointed out to him that the war was 
declared by the United States against Spain for the purpose 
of liberating Cuba and that, therefore, he easily believed 
that the country that fought for the liberation of Cuba 
would not deny the Filipinos their freedom. Commodore 


Dewey — later Admiral — denied most emphatically that he 
had ever made such commitment to Aguinaldo, although it 
is officially recorded that he did inform the Government of 
the United States, after the termination of the war, that the 
Filipinos were more capable of governing themselves than 
the Cubans. 

Early on the morning of the first of May 1898, I heard 
the boom of heavy cannon from Manila Bay. I jumped 
up and told my fellow student-boarders who were in the 
same room with me that the American Fleet was attacking 
the Spanish Fleet lying over at the naval arsenal of Cavite, 
a few miles to the west. Nobody, including myself, 
believed what I said, but just the same we all went down 
and ran for the beach which was only about a thousand 
yards from the house. Americans who came to Manila a 
few years after the event I am narrating could not possibly 
understand what I mean when I say that the distance 
between Magallanes Street where I was staying and the 
beach was only about a thousand yards. The explanation 
is that during the American regime, this water area was 
filled in, from the Malecon Drive which bordered the 
beach, for several miles. This is now called the Port Area, 
at the end of which were built the piers of Manila. 

From the beach I witnessed the Battle of Manila Bay 
which, as far as I can remember, did not last long. By 
eight o'clock, Dewey's fleet steamed away, and the 
Spaniards who were on the beach shouted, "Viva Bspanai" 
doubtless believing that Dewey was on the run. Their 


cheers, however, were of short duration, for very soon we 
saw Admiral Montojo's ships all afire. 

After having destroyed the Spanish Fleet and captured the 
naval arsenal of Cavite, Dewey sent one of his ships to get 
Aguinaldo and his associates in Hongkong and bring them 
to the Philippines in accordance with their concerted plan. 
Dewey did not have with him any land forces, and until he 
could get them from the United States, he had to depend 
upon Aguinaldo and his insurgents. 

On the other hand, the Spanish Government in Manila, 
from the time it became apparent that a war between the 
United States and Spain was imminent, called for Filipino 
volunteers to join the Spanish forces. Several battalions were 
organized. One contingent was composed of Macabebes 
from Pampanga under the command of the leading citizen 
of the town of Macabebe, Mr. Blanco, who was given the 
rank of major and later was promoted to a full colonelcy,- 
another was under the command of Mr. Felipe Buencamino, 
a prominent lawyer of Manila, who was likewise given the 
rank of major. There were other battalions recruited form 
different provinces, and last but not least, there was the Manila 
Battalion and the Guerilla de San Miguel, all commanded by 
a majority of ranking Spanish civilian officials. 

As soon as Aguinaldo landed in Cavite, he issued a 
manifesto addressed to the Filipino people telling them that 
the Divine Providence had at last heard their prayers and 
that their freedom and independence were at hand,- that 
America, the mother of republics, had through Admiral 


Dewey assured him that if the Filipino people sided with the 
United States in the war against Spain, they would be granted 
independence upon the termination of the war. The arrival 
of Aguinaldo in Cavite was the signal for a new uprising all 
over the Philippines, and the Spanish Governor-General 
then offered the Filipinos in the name of the government in 
Madrid, complete autonomy under the Spanish crown if they 
would remain loyal to Spain. Some of the leading Filipinos 
were inclined to accept this offer, but they soon found out 
that the masses of the people were flocking to the banner 
of Aguinaldo and that even entire battalions of volunteers 
in the provinces had forsaken the cause of Spain and had 
gone over to Aguinaldo. So no one dared to come out and 
advocate the acceptance of the offer. Before the American 
landing forces arrived in the Philippines, Aguinaldo, with 
the rifles that Dewey gave him from the Cavite arsenal, 
started a siege of Manila but was forbidden by the American 
high command to attack the city. After the required number 
of American troops had landed, an ultimatum was sent 
by General Anderson and Admiral Dewey to the Spanish 
Governor- General for the surrender of Manila. The answer 
was negative, but after a sham battle wherein only a few 
shots were fired, the white flag was raised and the Spanish 
conquest of the Philippines came to an inglorious end. I was 
then in the city and saw the American flag taking the place 
of the flag of Spain. 

I confess to a feeling of deep sadness when I saw the old 
flag come down forever. After all, I inherited from my mother 


some Spanish blood, I spoke from childhood the language 
of Castile, and although the last Spanish friar, parish priest 
of my town, was far from what his vocation required him 
to be, one of his predecessors had been my teacher. Again 
I felt very grateful to the Dominican friars who had given 
me free tuition and free room and board for three years and 
who, despite my derelictions as a student, always treated me 
kindly. I felt, as I still do, grateful to them. 

When Manila was occupied by the American forces, 
Aguinaldo nor his army was permitted by General Elwell 
S. Otis to enter the Walled City or any of its suburbs. In 
passing, I may add that the ultimatum, the sham battle, and 
the occupation of Manila took place on the 1 3th of August, 
1898, after the armistice had already been signed by duly 
authorized representatives of Spain and the United States. 

The denial of the fruits of victory to those who took a very 
important part in their achievement marked the beginning 
of suspicion, jealousies, and misunderstandings between 
the two former allies which culminated in the outbreak of 
hostilities on the 4th of February, 1 899. 

After the occupation of Manila by the United States 
Army, law classes having been closed since the beginning 
of the war and I have nothing to do, I decided to visit 
Baler. I had not been in communication with my father 
or any one from Baler since the siege of Manila and was 
naturally very anxious about the fate of my family. When 
I arrived in Baler, I learned that my father, with my young 
brother who had gone to the provinces before the siege of 


Manila, had been murdered by bandits on their way home. 
It appears that my father had succeeded in collecting his 
back salary and had gone to Nueva Ecija not only to fetch 
my brother but to buy some merchandise with the idea of 
entering into the retail business. The bandits not only took 
everything they had, but murdered them besides. Years 
afterwards when I had become a prosecuting attorney, I 
succeeded in capturing every one of these bandits myself 
in the company of my other brother, and I then prosecuted 
them for murder and robbery, and succeeded in securing 
life imprisonment for them. 

I stayed in my home town, living with the family of my 
future wife, whose mother was a sister of my mother. At that 
time my little cousin was only about ten years old and I used 
to play with her. 

The old town was deserted by its inhabitants, all the 
houses having been burned. Only the church and the 
adjoining parish were standing and had been converted into 
a fortress by the Spanish garrison which was beleaguered 
for many months and had refused to surrender. No more 
glorious page in Spanish military history, I think, has been 
written than that which this small garrison wrote in the siege 
of Baler. Hunger and sickness had reduced the garrison 
from a hundred and fifty men to about fifty and only one 
of the officers commanding the company remained alive — 
Lieutenant Martin. Emissaries from Manila were sent by the 
Spanish General ordering them to give up the fight on the 
ground that the Philippines were no longer Spanish territory, 


since the treaty of peace had already been signed between 
Spain and the United States. The commander of the garrison 
did not listen to the emissary but instead threatened to shoot 
him unless he went away. Finally Aguinaldo agreed to let 
these Spaniards come out from the church -fortress and go to 
Manila without surrendering and to carry with them all their 

I was in Baler when the hostilities began between America 
and the Filipino forces. It was already known all over the 
world that in the treaty of peace America had insisted on 
the transfer by Spain of her sovereignty over the Philippines 
to the United States. President McKinley had issued 
his proclamation formally declaring that the people and 
territory of the Philippines be placed under the sovereignty 
of the United States, and General Otis was commanded to 
take steps that would bring about acceptance on the part of 
the Filipinos of the new situation. Although the language of 
the proclamation was couched in the most diplomatic terms, 
Aguinaldo and his advisers were in no way misled. They 
realized its full import and meaning, and as answer thereto, 
Aguinaldo convened at Malolos the First Filipino Congress, 
which was inaugurated with all the ceremonies and the 
solemnity demanded by the occasion. The Philippine 
Republic was formally proclaimed. The joy and exultation of 
hundreds of thousands of Filipinos that gathered in Malolos 
from all parts of the Islands knew no bounds. Aguinaldo, 
however, deliberately avoided a serious clash with the Army 
of Occupation. 


Meanwhile, President McKinley created the First 
Philippine Commission headed by Jacob Gould Schurman, 
the President of Cornell University, with instructions to 
go to the Philippines and explain to the Filipinos America's 
purpose in taking the Philippines from Spain: namely, not 
to subjugate the people of the Islands, but to educate and 
train them in the art of self-government. In his message 
to Congress that year, President McKinley with uncanny 
premonition stated: "I believe and confidently expect that 
the day will come when the Filipino people will bless the 
day when the Divine Providence placed their country under 
the protecting hand of the United States." Unfortunately, 
when the Commission arrived in Manila, the peaceful, if 
strained, relations between the American and Filipino forces 
had terminated and war was actually in progress. 

The news of the hostilities which began on February 4, 
1899, reached Baler almost overnight. I decided at once that 
my duty lay in fighting for the freedom of my country. Neither 
my father, while he was alive, nor I had any commitment 
with the United States Army. On the contrary, it was that 
army, as I thought, which had broken faith with my people. 



IN PANTABANGAN, I presented myself to Colonel 
Villacorta, a good and valiant soldier but almost an 
illiterate man. He had fought from the beginning of the 
first insurrection and never laid down arms even after the 
Pact of Biaknabato. He was only too glad to take me. He 
had known me in Baler, for he had been in command of the 
forces that had besieged the Spanish garrison there. 

Villacorta made me a second lieutenant and a sort of 
aide-de-camp. When we arrived in Cabanatuan, General 
Llanera, having heard of a hideous crime committed by a 
band of ladrones (highwaymen) in the town of Aliaga, ordered 
Villacorta to send some of his men to go and capture the 
band. Villacorta gave me the mission, and in Aliaga I was 
informed that this band had attacked the house of one of 
the richest people in the town, taken everything they had 
and murdered everybody in the family, not excluding the 
children. After two days' hunting, I caught the whole gang. 
They were court-martialed and executed in short order. I was 
promoted to first lieutenant in recognition of this service. 

For several months I was stationed in Cabanatuan. When 
later Aguinaldo, pressedby the American advance, transferred 
the seat of his government form Malolos to Cabanatuan, 
I was detailed to form a part of his staff. The General in 


command of all the forces operating in Luzon was Antonio 
Luna, a highly educated man who had spent many years as 
a student in Spain and in France. No braver soldier was ever 
born in any clime or any land. Whenever a key position was at 
stake, he always took personal command of the Filipino forces 
and was the last to retreat. At Calumpit, one of the most bloody 
battles fought during the war of resistance against the United 
States, he was wounded, but did not enter a hospital. 

Soon after Aguinal do had gone to Cabanatuan, the Filipino 
Congress held a session there. It was generally believed 
that at this session the Congress had decided to appoint a 
committee that would go to Manila and negotiate peace terms 
with the Philippine Commission sent by President McKinley 
on the basis of Philippine autonomy under an American 
protectorate. But General Luna, having heard of the action 
taken by the Congress, came rushing to Cabanatuan and 
arrested the members of the Congress whom he found there, 
including those who had been appointed members of the 
committee. That was the end of the Malolos Congress as 
well as any attempt to negotiate peace with the American 
Government. It was also rumored that General Luna, after 
insulting some of the members of Aguinaldo's cabinet who 
had approved of the action of the Congress, demanded from 
Aguinaldo their dismissal. Whether the rumor was true or 
not, the fact remains that after Luna's trip to Cabanatuan, to 
which place the Congress had returned, the members of the 
cabinet presented their resignations and they were accepted. 
On the other hand, Aguinaldo prevailed upon Luna to release 


the members of the Congress whom he had arrested. 

General Benito Natividad, who was seriously wounded 
in the battle of Calumpit, was brought to Cabanatuan in a 
hammock carried by his men. General Natividad was one of 
the right-hand men of General Luna, and by orders previously 
given by this general he was to be taken to Luna's headquarters 
in Bayambang. Colonel Sitiar of Aguinaldo's staff instructed 
me to escort General Natividad to Bayambang. After safely 
placing my patient in the hands of his friend and chief, I 
departed the following day for Cabanatuan. Upon reporting 
that my mission had been performed, I found that I had been 
promoted to the rank of captain. 

Not long afterward Aguinaldo once again transferred 
the seat of his government from Cabanatuan to Angeles. 
We made the trip on horseback from Cabanatuan to San 
Isidro, where we found a force composed of at least three 
thousand men under the command of General Gregorio del 
Pilar. General Aguinaldo, after reviewing his guard of honor, 
ordered all the officers who were then in San Isidro to come 
up to his residence, and there, without any explanation for 
this unexpected as well as unusual procedure, he made us 
swear that we would fight by his side against all comers. 
Very early the next morning, we proceeded in the direction 
of Bayambang where we arrived late at night. On this trip for 
the first time I saw General Aguinaldo dressed in his military 
uniform with his insignia as full general. I asked him if he 
was celebrating some happy event, and he just smiled and 
said nothing. 


Before midnight it was rumored in Bayambang that Luna 
had been murdered in Cabanatuan by the personal guards of 
Aguinaldo who were left in that town to protect his mother 
and wife. While this terrible news was being whispered all 
around, we received orders to board the train which was 
to take Aguinaldo with the forces of General Gregorio del 
Pilar to Angeles. Angeles was the headquarters of General 
Concepcion, another of General Luna's trusted men, who was 
in command of the forces which were facing the Americans 
in San Fernando. General Concepcion was evidently 
unaware of our arrival, for he showed his surprise when he 
was faced by the Commander-in-Chief of the Filipino forces. 
The following day an official announcement was made of 
the killing of General Luna and that of his senior aide-de- 
camp, Colonel Paco Roman. His two junior aides were put 
in prison. 

The brigade defending the line facing San Fernando was 
the crack brigade of the old Philippine Army. It had been 
organized by General Luna himself and was composed 
of veteran soldiers of the defunct Spanish Army and 
commanded by officers who had also served and fought 
many battles under the Spanish flag. Quietly but hurriedly, 
General Aguinaldo recalled these officers, sent them to other 
brigades, and replaced them with his old trusted officers of 
the Revolution. 

We did not remain long in Angeles. From there we 
went farther north to the town of Tarlac where Aguinaldo, 
in personal command of the Philippine Army since Luna's 


death, remained for several months. While in this town, 
I lived in the house of Colonel Alejandro Albert of the 
Medical Service, whose kind wife was one of the most 
widely read Filipinas of her day. She treated me like a son, 
and I can never forget her generous hospitality. It was in 
her home, too, in Manila, that I found haven whenever I 
needed lodging in after years. When I became influential in 
the government of the Philippines, although Colonel Albert 
belonged to the opposition party, my first recommendation 
to Governor- General Harrison was the appointment of Dr. 
Albert as Under-Secretary of Public Instruction, a position 
he held until he was no longer physically able to perform the 
duties of the office. 

While in Tarlac, I received orders from General Aguinaldo 
to go to Baguio and replace the officer in command of the 
garrison there until another officer could be sent to take 
my post. It was my first visit to the place which has been, 
since Governor- General Taft's day, the summer capital of the 
Philippines. It was a long trip from Tarlac on horseback to 
the high altitude of the Baguio mountains. 

Baguio was nothing but a forest of pine trees with Igorrot 
huts. There were, however, three houses made of timber,- 
one occupied by a German, Dr. Sheer, married to an Igorrota 
by whom he had a pretty daughter and a fine boy,- another 
occupied by a Dutchman,- and the third by a full-blooded 
Igorrote — Carino — who was appointed by Aguinaldo 
as governor of the province. These two distinguished 
representatives of occidental civilization, instead of imposing 


their own civilization to the Igorrots, evidently preferred to 
adopt that of their hosts, for I saw them in G-strings exactly 
like those of the Igorrots. 

The Christian settlement at that time was Trinidad, about 
three miles from the city hall of Baguio and a couple of 
thousand feet lower than Baguio proper. The Spanish Military 
Governor of the Mountain Province resided at Trinidad, and 
there the garrison remained until they were captured by the 
Filipino forces during the Second Rebellion. Americans who 
have fine homes in Baguio and have enjoyed its delightful 
climate, perhaps one of the best in the world, and its beautiful 
scenery, will be surprised to hear that at the time not gold 
but coffee made the province of Benguet — which includes 
Trinidad and Baguio — famous. When I returned to Tarlac, 
I carried with me two sacks of coffee which I presented to 
my hostess, Mrs. Albert, and one small tube of particles of 
gold taken from the river, which I presented to General 
Aguinaldo's mother. 

As a member of Aguinaldo's staff in Tarlac, I only did office 
work and it became tiresome to me. I felt ashamed of the 
fact that although there was actual war going on I had been 
promoted from first lieutenant to captain without having 
heard, even at a distance, the whistle of a bullet. So one day 
I asked permission to see General Aguinaldo and told him 
what I felt. I requested him to send me to the front, so he sent 
me to General Mascardo with a letter of introduction in his 
own handwriting. General Mascardo had his headquarters 
then in the town of Porac, Pampanga. I arrived at his place 


at dusk and remained with him for the evening. 

The following day he sent me to the front as member of the 
staff of Colonel Leysan, who was in command of the Filipino 
forces on the line between San Fernando and Porac. 

Our advance post was in Bacolor. Colonel Leysan was 
quartered in a nipa house about one mile back of the lines 
and with him were staying Major Galura, the Chief of Staff, 
and another officer whose name I do not now remember. 
That night we played tres siete, a game of cards somewhat like 
bridge. At five o'clock in the morning the roar of small pieces 
of artillery made us jump out of bed. We hurriedly put on 
our uniforms and rushed to the line. As we were getting 
nearer the trenches, I heard for the first time in my life the 
whistle of a bullet. I ducked. Then the number of the flying 
bullets became too numerous to duck and I felt inside myself 
an irresistible impulse to run away. Before this, I had a very 
high opinion of my own valor. Indeed one of the reasons 
why I asked General Aguinaldo to send me to the front 
was because I felt pretty certain that I could be one of the 
national military heroes of Philippine history. But when the 
test came, I discovered that the fear of death was instinctively 
quite strong with me. My whole body was shaking and my 
knees became so weak that I felt they could only carry me if I 
turned around and ran in the opposite direction,- not another 
step could they take in the direction from which the bullets 
were coming. What made my fear so overwhelming was the 
fact that I had not been to confession for a long, long time 
and I thought that the loss of life in this world meant hell 


fire. I was too panicky to be able to concentrate and make an 
act of contrition. Indeed, I could not even finish the Lord's 
Prayer which I started to say as soon as the first bullet had 
whistled over my head. I was about to run away as fast as I 
could when I heard a voice behind me saying, "Joven, cuidado 
cjue los soldados le estan observando." (Young man, you'd better be 
careful because the soldiers are watching you.) A sense of 
shame and humiliation, stronger even than the fear of death, 
brought me instantly back to myself. From that time on, I 
stood erect and noticed no longer the noise of bullets. My 
attention was now directed to the movements of the enemy 
and to encouraging my own soldiers. By ten o'clock in the 
morning, Colonel Leysan ordered me to go and tell Major 
Liraz whose battalion was on the other side of the road 
between Bacolor and Porac, to move his forces and cover 
our right flank, for the Americans had started to envelop 
us in that sector. I found Major Liraz standing, seemingly 
unconcerned, in the middle of the road at the head of his 
battalion. I had not finished transmitting the order when 
a burst of shrapnel cut short Major Liraz's life. I lifted his 
head to see whether he was still alive, but he was truly dead. 
Four soldiers carried him away and the following day he was 
buried with the military honors due a real hero. He left a 
widow and seven children. 

Colonel Leysan put me in command of Major Liraz's 
battalion until the battle was over at six o'clock that evening. 
The Americans had taken Bacolor. We had withdrawn to 
Porac, and General Mascardo's headquarters had been 


transferred to the village of Dolores in the hills. The advance 
continued the following day and Porac fell into the hands of 
the Americans sooner than Bacolor did because our soldiers 
had not had anything to eat during the battle the day before, 
nor had they had enough rest during the night. It was a hot 
day when the Americans entered Porac. Although our forces 
had not only withdrawn but had practically run, I decided 
to hide in the bushes and trees that were thick back of the 
river, to find out what the Americans did when they entered 
a town. I had about ten soldiers with me, armed with rifles. 
At about eleven o'clock in the morning, I saw a number of 
Americans, some on horseback and others afoot, going down 
the river. I wondered if they were coming to hunt for me, 
but my doubts were soon dispelled for although they were 
armed, they dropped their rifles, left their horses, and began 
to undress. Evidently they had come for a swim. In nature's 
bathing suits, they plunged into the water. Before I could 
stop it, one of my soldiers fired a shot and the swimmers 
ran for their guns, although not for their clothes. They 
immediately returned that fire in our direction and we left. 

At one of the formal dinners that, as President of the 
Commonwealth, I gave to new Commanding Generals of 
the Philippine Department, having learned that my guest of 
honor on this particular occasion had been under General 
J. Franklin Bell, I asked him if by any chance he was in the 
attack of Porac and he said yes. Then I told him my little 
experience with the swimmers and he admitted that he 
was one of them. In the toast that I offered to the health 


and success of my guest of honor — there were no ladies 
present — I made reference to the difference between the 
uniform which he wore when I first saw him in the river and 
the one he was wearing that evening. 

After Porac, General Mascardo appointed Leysan his Chief 
of Staff and ordered him to his headquarters in Dolores. 
Leysan took me with him as his assistant. It appears that 
General Aguinaldo had appointed General Mascardo as 
Commanding General of all the Filipino forces operating in 
Central Luzon, which at that time was the only real field 
of action. General Mascardo, who was a hero in the First 
Revolution against Spain when he had been wounded four 
times in four different pitched battles, was an expert in 
guerilla warfare, but knew nothing about military strategy 
and tactics, as did his predecessor, General Luna. As Colonel 
Leysan had served with ability and distinction as officer of 
the Spanish Army, Mascardo rightly considered him well 
prepared to be our Chief of Staff. 

The first few weeks of our stay in Dolores were marked 
by lull and quiet in the lines. This was not unusual for since 
the campaign started the Americans would give us respite 
from time to time. During these quiet days our needs for 
relaxation took the form of certain emotional outbursts. We 
had dances and courted the fair girls of Pampanga, either in 
the unoccupied towns or out in the villages where some of 
them went to hide. A brother of General Mascardo who had 
lost his left arm in a hand-to-hand fight in the First Revolution, 
was making love to a girl in Guagua. Although the town 


was no longer defended by Filipino troops, the Americans 
on their part had not occupied it, so Major Mascardo was 
able to visit his girl. He always went with about fifteen 
men, all of them including the major on horseback — I will 
not call them cavalrymen because they were really not. 
We never had a force of cavalry except what General Luna 
organized, composed of fifty men as his personal guards who 
accompanied him everywhere. 

One day Major Mascardo invited me and Lieutenant Betus 
to go with him for they had planned to have a little dance 
in his girl's house. We arrived there about two o'clock in 
the afternoon so as to have time to take a bath and change 
our clothes for the dance which was to begin at five o'clock. 
By four, we were notified that a troop of American cavalry 
was in the outskirts of the town. Instead of escaping as we 
should have done (and we had ample time to do it), Major 
Mascardo decided that he would show his girl the brave man 
that he was. So he invited us to come to the street with our 
rifles ready to fire as soon as the American cavalry came. 

In the first exchange of shots, Mascardo fell dead with a 
bullet through his head. The rest of us ran for our lives. We 
were not pursued by the enemy, and by nightfall I sent a 
courier to find out if the Americans had left and what had 
happened to the major's corpse. The courier came back with 
the information that the cavalry had returned to Bacolor, 
had taken his watch and everything else of value that Major 
Mascardo had with him, carried the dead officer to the 
Presidencia or town hall, laid him on the municipal council 


table, and left a letter for General Mascardo in the hands of 
the mayor of the town. I went back and found the body of 
Major Mascardo no longer in the Presidencia but lying in the 
parlor of the girl's house placed on a bed with four lighted 
candles around him. The whole town was there mourning 
for the death of a patriot. 

The letter addressed to General Mascardo was handed to 
me. It was written in English on a sheet of paper with no 
envelope. I did not attempt to read it for neither I nor any 
one else in the house understood its language. Taking the 
letter, the watch, and the money removed by the Americans 
from Mascardo's pockets, which were handed to me by the 
mayor, we went back to headquarters with the corpse carried 
in a hammock. General Mascardo raised hell with us and 
gave definite orders that thereafter no one should go to the 
unoccupied towns except with his permission. 

At the headquarters, there was an officer, Major Kunanan, 
who was educated in Europe and knew English well. The 
letter as translated by him to us read more or less as follows: 
"To Major General Mascardo, Commanding General of 
Central Luzon: I regret to have killed your valiant brother. 
As evidence of my admiration for him and my high regard 
for you, I had his body carried to the town hall, placed it 
on a table, and entrusted everything he had with him, 
including his revolver and his rifle, to the mayor of the town 
for delivery to you. I beg to express my sympathy in your 

The letter made a profound impression on all those who 


knew of its contents. What a different picture it gave us of 
the kind of men the Americans were from that depicted by 
the Spaniards in the early days after the declaration of war 
by the United States against Spain. 

Sometime later we were surprised by the arrival of two 
Japanese officers — Captain Hara and Lieutenant Nakamori. 
They came with a letter from General Aguinaldo informing 
General Mascardo that they were military observers sent by 
the Japanese government. Both spoke English, but Captain 
Hara was the only one who ever joined in our conversation. 
Nakamori went to the front and Hara remained at headquarters 
with us. 

At last General Mascardo instructed Colonel Leysan to 
formulate a plan for an attack against Angeles — the town 
farthest north along the railway line occupied by the 
Americans. My general thought that there was something 
wrong with the American Army when they remained for so 
long a time without attempting to make further advance. 
Capatain Hara was consulted. The plan contemplated an 
attack against Angeles from three sides — north, east, and west. 
On the south, there would be a force prepared to intercept 
reinforcement that might come from San Fernando, the next 
town to the south. We started to advance at four o'clock in 
the morning. It was a fiasco. One company commanded 
by a very excited captain began firing before their bullets 
could reach the positions occupied by the Americans. At 
this time our ammunition consisted of cartridges reloaded in 
the most primitive way and our weapons were old Spanish 


Mausers and Remingtons which we had taken from the 
Spaniards. Their effective range was not more than three or 
four hundred yards. The Maxims, which the Americans had, 
started on their deadly work and we had to withdraw before 
we could even get within range for our guns. 

General Bell, then a major or lieutenant colonel of 
the volunteers of the American Army, soon returned the 
compliment to us. We found one morning while we were 
having breakfast at headquarters that he was at the head 
of his cavalry and attacking our small garrison there. By 
following a trail, he had succeeded in going through our 
lines unobserved. Fortunately, we were all dressed and our 
horses were ready for General Mascardo was about to go out 
for an inspection trip. So we jumped on our horses and let 
loose our bridles. By a mere matter of five minutes the whole 
staff of General Mascardo, including himself, escaped from 
falling into the hands of Major Bell. 

This unexpected and unwelcome visit of the enemy forced 
Mascardo to transfer his headquarters to a safer place at the 
farthest end of a small valley. To reach it, one had to go 
between two hills which exposed the would-be intruder to 
cross-fire. I was left in command of two companies guarding 
the entrance to the valley. Not having learned my lesson 
properly from the previous surprise attack of Major Bell, and 
confident that before the Americans could reach our place 
some resistance would be offered by our forces in the front 
line, I preferred to stay in a rather nice farmhouse, somewhat 
distant from the hills where the forces under my command 


were located. The Japanese Captain Hara stayed with me. 
We had hardly been one week in this new position when one 
morning we were notified of the approach of Major Bell by 
bullets going through the house. Captain Hara actually flew, 
for in one second he had jumped on one of the two horses 
we had at our disposal tied near the house and was galloping 
without saddle at full speed. I jumped on the other horse to 
take command of the companies that were posted to defend 
the approach to General Mascardo's headquarters. I had just 
taken my position at a point on the hill to the left side of 
the entrance to the valley when I saw the American cavalry 
approaching cautiously. I got my field-glass and recognized 
the man whom I thought was commanding the troops. From 
the descriptions given us, I felt certain he was the same man 
who had killed Major Mascardo — the man who almost took 
us prisoners in Dolores. I decided to kill him with my own 
hands, so I took a Mauser from one of the soldiers near me 
and watched him approach. I waited until my chosen victim 
was near enough even for our almost useless cartridges. I put 
my finger on the trigger and just as I pulled it he dismounted 
and the bullet struck his saddle. The horse ran away to the 
hills and later in the day we got it and its saddle with the 
bullet embedded in it. I aimed again and again until I fired 
ten shots, always missing my target. I gave it up and returned 
the rifle to the soldier. 

By this time, Major Bell had mounted another horse and 
after a while withdrew with his force. Evidently, they were 
merely reconnoitering. 


I went to General Mascardo's headquarters,- it was deserted. 
I looked for him and his staff and found them on the other 
side of the hills, on the bank of a river. By noon Captain 
Hara appeared still mounted on his unsaddled horse. 

"Where have you been?" I asked him in Spanish. The 
Japanese, theretofore always solemn in words as well as in 
action, his face as blank and unmoved as that of a marble 
statue, was now glowing with joy and happiness and literally 
shouted: "Nacimiento! Nacimiento!" 

Captain Hara spoke to us in English through our 
interpreter, Major Kunanan, but this time he managed to 
express his feeling in one Spanish word, nacimiento, which 
means birth. He doubtless meant to convey the thought that 
he had gotten a new lease on life. Thus, my first experience 
with a Japanese army officer did not conform with the utter 
disregard for life which they showed many years later in the 
conquest of the Philippines. 

After the occupation of Angeles, all the forces in Central 
Luzon were dispersed and took to the hills, since it had 
become impossible to maintain our lines. Aguinaldo had 
fled from Tarlac and was sharply pursued by the American 
forces. He was almost captured before he could reach the 
Caraballo Mountains. Only the determined resistance put 
up by General Gregorio del Pilar at Tila Pass — where this 
young general lost his life to save that of his chief — gave 
Aguinaldo a chance to get to Palanan on the east coast of 
Isabela, the remotest and most isolated town in Luzon. Here 
Aguinaldo remained for many months in hiding, his own 


generals not knowing where he was, although he continued 
to communicate with them. General Mascardo himself, 
pressed day and night by Major Bell, had withdrawn his own 
brigade to the mountains separating Bataan from Pampanga. 
But Bell made it so difficult for us to get food supplies 
from the Filipinos in the plains of Pampanga that General 
Mascardo decided to send me to Bataan which, according 
to our information, had not as yet been occupied by the 
Americans. I was to look for the best place to which he 
could go with his remaining forces.* 

With twenty soldiers, I proceeded immediately to comply 
with this order. I took as guides two Negritos, the nomad 
aborigines of the Philippines — tiny little fellows, black with 
kinky hair. The trip was one of the hardest I ever made in my 
life. We walked barefooted up and down the mountains and 
swam rivers infested with crocodiles. Our food consisted of 
a little rice and salt, and when we slept at night we lay on the 
ground covered only by the sky above. On the third day, we 
came down to the plains of the province of Bataan, and from 

*As far as I can remember, upon the dispersion of the Filipino forces in 
the Island of Luzon, they were scattered in the provinces of northern and 
central Luzon as follows: 

General Tinio remained in command of Northern Luzon,- Generals 
Makabulos and Llanera in Tarlac and Nueva Ecija, respectively,- Generals 
Aquino and Hizon in Pampanga east and west of the railroad line from 
Manila to Dagupan,- General Pekson with Colonel S. Miguel, in Bulacan,- 
General Geronimo, whose forces killed General Lawton, in Rizal, with 
General Del Pilar,- General Malvar, the last Filipino general to surrender, 
in Batangas and Tayabas,- General Trias in Cavite,and General Mascardo 
in Bataan and Zambales. 


Dinalupihan I made the rest of the trip on horseback. 

On reaching Orani, I was met by Major Vister who, only 
two months before, had captured a small launch carrying a few 
American soldiers and made prisoners of them. The launch 
had gone to Orani and had run aground in shallow water — 
an accident which sealed the fate of its passengers. Later, 
the prisoners were released by order of General Mascardo. 
In Balanga, the capital of the province, I discovered that the 
Military Governor, Lieutenant Colonel Bautista, together 
with his forces had abandoned his post and with the scanty 
funds of the government, had run back to his old home town 
in Cavite. Two former bandits during the Spanish regime 
who had styled themselves generals when the first revolution 
broke out but who never received recognition for General 
Aguinaldo for their "patriotic services," had gathered their 
old gang and on their own authority replaced the deserting 
revolutionary chief. Although I did not intend to recognize 
their assumed military rank and power, I nevertheless sought 
their advice as to the place best suited for General Mascardo's 
headquarters. They received me with undisguised displeasure 
for which I later found the explanation. This, however, did 
not stop them from giving me the information I wanted as 
they told me that the forest between Bagac and Morong on 
the China Sea coast would be the best hiding place for my 
chief, General Mascrado. 

I went to Bagac and satisfied myself that the old bandits 
were right. So I sent the information to General Mascardo 
who, within fifteen days, followed me with all his forces — 


about three hundred men armed with rifles and five rounds 
of ammunition apiece. Before Mascardo's arrival, and while 
I was in Pilar, I had received information that a house in a 
barrio of Balanga had been pillaged by a band of men armed 
with rifles. I went to the place with my twenty-five soldiers 
and in the house which had been robbed, I met the two 
self-styled generals with about forty men, some armed with 
rifles and others with bolos. From the look on their faces, 
it appeared clear to me that they were ready for trouble if I 
attempted to investigate them. So pretending that because 
they had taken charge of the case, I felt that I had nothing 
more to do with it, I left the house with a courteous bow. 

As soon as I was out of their sight, I concealed myself with 
my men in the bushes from which I could see them going 
back to the town. Half an hour afterward, they were gone. 
I returned to the house and asked its owner for particulars 
about the robbery. While making this investigation, a man 
came looking for his hat which he had left the night before. 
I asked him why he had been there and he plainly told me 
that he had been a guide for the bandits. I inquired whether 
he knew the chief of the gang or any of its members, and 
without hesitation he answered affirmatively and gave me 
the name of the chief of the band. With him I went back to 
Pilar which, to avoid a clash with the old bandits who were 
in Balanga, I chose for my quarters while waiting for General 

That same night I succeeded in getting hold of the man 
who was responsible for the robbery. I told him to make his 


confession or I would order his execution the following day. 
I sent for the parish priest who gladly performed his religious 
duty. At midnight, one of the old chieftains came to see 
me and interceded in behalf of my prisoner. He pleaded 
forgiveness upon the ground that the prisoner as well as 
himself and his companions had rendered patriotic service 
during the First Revolution. After exacting from them the 
promise that the crime would not be repeated, I dismissed 
the case and freed the prisoner. From that time on I never 
had trouble with these "patriots" and my authority was never 
challenged by them. 

When General Mascardo came, it was no longer safe to 
travel through the towns bordering Manila Bay so he made 
the trip all the way to Bagac through the woods. On his arrival 
at this last named town, he was given a rousing welcome. 
Then we went to the place I had selected, where he remained 
until he surrendered months later to the American forces in 
Zambales. It should be stated here that the Filipino troops 
in this last named province were also under the command of 
General Mascardo. They consisted of about two hundred 
men, commanded by a colonel whose name I have forgotten, 
and Lieutenant Colonel Gabriel Alba, a former companion 
of mine in the College of San Juan de Letran. Our troops in 
Zambales were already carrying on guerilla warfare and they 
had succeeded in capturing a few rifles from the Americans. 

Once he was located in his new and last encampment in 
the forest between Bagac and Morong, Mascardo divided his 
forces in Bataan into three commands: one under Colonel 


Vister operated from Abucay to Dinalupihan, including the 
territory between Bataan and Pampanga,- the second under 
me operated from Balanga to Mariveles,- and the third from 
Bagac to Morong was commanded by Colonel Leysan who 
continued to be the Chief of Staff and stayed in Mascardo's 
headquarters. It fell to my lot to be placed in command of 
the guerilla band that would operate between Balanga and 
Mariveles — the tip of the peninsula which, forty-two years 
later was destined to be the last stronghold of General 
MacArthur's army. The two Japanese officers, Hara and 
Nakamori, as soon thereafter as they had the chance, went 
to Manila and thence to Japan. 

Following Mascardo's transfer to Bataan, the American 
forces took possession without opposition on our part of 
the towns of the province. In Balanga where the military 
commander of the province was, the larger part of the forces 
was stationed, and there was one company each in the 
towns of Dinalupihan, Orani, and Orion. The other towns, 
including Mariveles, had only small garrisons. Upon the 
occupation of the province of Bataan, following the same 
practice that they had adopted in all the occupied provinces, 
the Army of Occupation appointed the local officials of the 
town and started to open up schools with some of the non- 
commissioned officers as teachers. Every man appointed to 
these municipal posts, whether he happened to be the same 
Filipino official appointed by Aguinaldo's government or a 
new one, when the former was suspected of being disloyal, 
accepted their new appointment only with the consent of 


General Mascardo and upon the understanding that the 
appointee would continue to serve the revolution either by 
helping us to secure food supplies or by giving us informations 
as to the movements of the American troops whenever they 
planned to attack our encampments, or in any other way that 
might be necessary. 

Not long after the American occupation of Bataan, 
Mascardo decided to attack the small garrison in Hermosa. 
He gathered almost all the forces he then had in the province 
and we made the attack at night. Before we could do much 
harm to the garrison, help came from the near-by towns and 
we retreated, losing one major killed and several soldiers 
wounded. Knauber, a Scandinavian, whom I met later after 
the establishment of the Civil Government as officer of 
the Constabulary, gave a good account of himself on that 
occasion. With such disastrous results, we gave up the idea 
of ever attacking again the American garrisons and decided 
that the safest and most effective tactic was to ambush 
them whenever they went out to the hills in search of our 

The 24th of December, 1 899, arrived. To be eating 
only boiled rice up in the hills did not appear to me a very 
appropriate way of celebrating the birth of Our Lord Jesus 
Christ. Hence, I sent word to the American-appointed 
mayor of the town of Orion that I would come down with 
my one hundred soldiers and spend Christmas Eve and 
Christmas Day in his town. The mayor was agreeable and 
assured me that if his instructions were literally followed, he 


would smuggle into town every man with his rifle, distribute 
us in different houses, and the Americans would not be any 
wiser. More still, he promised me kchon (roast young pig) and 
abundant fresh sea-food for our hungry band. We entered 
Orion from different places after nightfall without being 
noticed. The man in command of the American force was 
Captain Goldman whom later I met when he was Governor 
of Bataan after the establishment of the Civil Government. 
I was taken to the house of the mayor, one of the finest 
in the locality, made of hard wood with fine furniture and 
two comfortable bedrooms. Captain Goldman lived in the 
parish house, as usual the largest and best. The next day 
after the mass, as was the custom of the municipal officials 
during the Spanish regime, the Presidente or mayor with 
his subordinates, called on Captain Goldman to wish him 
Merry Christmas. No doubt with more sincere feelings they 
called on me, too. My soldiers filled up with good food, 
and some of them even went to the cockpit on Christmas 
Day. That night there was gambling in the house of one of 
the prominent citizens of the town — a well-known game of 
chance called monte. American soldiers who had already 
learned the game attended and bet their dollars. My whole 
fortune consisted of five pesos ($2.50 in American money) 
and I decided to back my luck against my enemies. The old 
adage "lucky in love, unlucky in cards," evidently also means 
"unlucky in war, lucky in cards," for with my five pesos, I 
won one hundred dollars which, under the circumstances, 
looked to me to be quite a fortune. So I decided to spend 


this money in Manila. It was Christmas and even then I 
already had a very pronounced inclination for the frailties of 
the so-called civilized, modern man. Indeed, my prolonged 
nomad life as an insurrecto was beginning to weigh heavily 
upon my nerves. So, with my liking for quick decisions, I 
instructed Lieutenant Baluyot, my second in command of 
the guerillas, to take the men back to the hills and keep on 
with the job in my absence. I gave him a letter for General 
Mascardo begging pardon for my temporary relinquishment 
of the command. 

Disguised as a fisherman, I sailed for Navotas in a fishing 
boat from one of the coastal towns of Bataan. Cabesang Doro, 
from Pilar — his full name was Isidoro Paguio — accompanied 
me in this sea trip. This generous man treated me like a son 
and later on saved my life. 

We stayed in Malabon in the house of Cabesang Doro's 
friend long enough for me to secure clothes that would give 
the appearance of a university student. I entered Manila 
without the slightest difficulty and spent my holidays in 
the house of Colonel Albert, the same man who, for several 
months, had me as boarder in Tarlac. The house was located 
in what was then named calle Ronquillo (Ronquillo street), 
just in front of the quarters of the military police in the suburb 
of Santa Cruz. I thought the safest place was where no one 
would suspect that an insurrecto would dare be. By this time, 
the American soldiers had learned a few Spanish words, such 
as "buenos dias" (good morning), "mucbo bueno" (very good),- the 
correct Spanish expression, however, is "muy bueno." Buenos 


dias and mucbo hueno were frequently exchanged between my 
adversaries and myself. 

In this house, I learned that Aguinaldo's family had 
presented themselves to the Americans and had been set 
free, although they were closely watched. They were guests 
of Senor Leyva, one of the rich widowers of Manila, whose 
son, a real athlete, had been the aide of Aguinaldo and had 
been murdered by robbers in Pangasinan. 

From my gambling winnings, I bought one chicken and 
a basket of fruit, and with the double purpose of leveling 
suspicion and paying my respects to my Commander-in- 
Chief's family, I called on them. Not much was said between 
us. We were afraid that even the walls had ears. 

New Year's Eve was celebrated in Manila by the men not on 
duty in the Army of Occupation, in the old American style. 

Lastly, on the morning of New Year's Day which is also my 
Saint's Day, I went to the University of Santo Tomas to hear 
mass. My old professors were glad to see me. They invited 
me to breakfast assuming that I had returned to the ways of 
peace. They were amazed, and I guess scared, when they 
discovered that I was still an insurrecto. They tried to dissuade 
me from going back to the hills. "Further resistance is of no 
use," they asserted, "and then the Americans are fair. They 
treat the Filipinos well, they have allowed the reopening of the 
schools, and President McKinley has promised to grant us self- 
government in due time." The Spanish friars who previously had 
reviled the Americans had evidently become their friends. I was 
unmoved. "Dewey," I said, "fooled Aguinaldo once. McKinley 


would fool us again." 

Shortly afterwards, I reported to General Mascardo's 
headquarters. At that time only General Mascardo and the 
men staying with him had even a limited ration. The rest 
of us ate if and when there was food to be had. Almost 
everybody including General Mascardo himself, became 
affected with malaria and a few of our soldiers died from 
this illness. I myself woke up one morning with very high 
fever and sent for my very dear friend who had remained in 
the town of Pilar. He appeared with a man whom he called 
a doctor. This fellow had been a sort of a nurse in San Juan 
de Dios Hospital during the Spanish regime, had settled in 
Pilar, and became the town physician. He brought with him 
some pills which he gave me to take, all at once. It was 
not long before I felt that I was dying. They sent for the 
parish priest who administered to me the last sacraments, 
and gave me also a five-dollar gold coin. It was the first 
American gold coin I had ever seen. I have an idea that the 
famous "doctor" had given me an overdose of aspirin, but I 
survived, and when I was strong enough to be moved away, 
Cabesang Doro brought some men and a hammock to carry 
me through the town of Pilar to the beach where a fishing 
boat was ready to take me to Navotas. The people of Pilar, as 
I learned later on, watched the movements of the Americans 
to make certain that they did not catch me while I was being 
transported through the town. 

I spent a month in the house of Cabesang Doro's friend in 
Navotas. This old man had amassed so much money from 


the fishing business that he had been able to send a son to be 
educated in Europe. While convalescing at his house, I read 
books which left in my mind some doubt as to the certainty 
of the existence of hell as taught me by my friar teachers — 
doubts which in after years contributed to my leaving for a 
long time the Catholic faith and joining the Masonic Order. 
I returned to the old church after my children had grown up. 
My orderly, a young man from Bohol, had accompanied me 
on this trip and most generously devoted himself to helping 
me regain my health. This boy is the only man to whom I 
had owed so much but whose services I was unable to repay 
at a later date. By the time I was in a position to do something 
for him, he had joined his Maker. 

Once I had fully recovered, I decided to return and rejoin 
my comrades in arms. This time, instead of using my usual 
means of transportation, I preferred to go on one of the 
Yangco launches then making daily trips between Manila 
and Bataan. Through a messenger, I notified the Presidente 
of Pilar — a man whom the American garrison considered a 
loyal Americanista — of the day and time of my arrival on the 
Yangco launch. This I had to do so that I would not have to 
go in the regular rowboat that met the passengers on the bay to 
bring them ashore. As I boarded my little banca (canoe) the man 
paddling it delivered a letter to me from the mayor in which I 
was told not to come to the outskirts of Pilar at the mouth of 
the river during the daytime, but to remain instead in the bushes 
near the beach. He knew that a scouting platoon was going to 
the village some time that day. 


When night came and the platoon did not come, I went to 
the outskirts feeling certain that the danger had passed as it 
was not customary for the American forces to venture outside 
the town at night in small numbers. I intended to proceed 
to the hills after dinner that night, but before I had finished 
my meal the people of the village came rushing through the 
street to their houses, and I was notified that American forces 
were approaching. I went down and hid under the house 
which was fenced with bamboo. After a while, I realized 
that every building was being searched and, indeed, two 
soldiers came to the house under which I was hiding. They 
found my little valise containing my picture and that of a 
young lady I was courting while I was in the province of 
Pampanga. This discovery apparently convinced the platoon 
that I was in the village and they did everything to force the 
villagers to confess where I was. Whether it was because no 
one really knew my whereabouts at this moment or that the 
people simply wanted to protect me, the fact remains that, 
evidently exasperated by their failure, the American troops 
burned the houses in the village. These all being made of 
nipa and bamboo, the fire spread everywhere, including to 
my hideout, in five minutes. In the face of what I thought 
was certain death, I had to decide whether I preferred to be 
burned or shot, and as far as I was concerned there was only 
one choice — the less painful of the two. I looked out to the 
only street of the village. It was full of soldiers. I signaled to 
my orderly who was hiding with me to get ready to run. We 
jumped out, running toward the river which was less than 


twenty-five yards from our hiding place. Several shots were 
fired in our direction. I reached the river and dove all the 
way to the other side. When I reached the opposite bank I 
flew rather than ran, for in my athletic days in the College 
of San Juan de Letran, I was one of the faster runners. They 
did not pursue and after midnight I cautiously approached 
the village to find out what had happened. Not a house was 
left standing. The Americans had left for dead my orderly who 
had been shot through the body three times. As best we could, 
we attended his wounds and that same night had him taken to 
Navotas on a fishing boat, there to be treated. He was saved 
although he remained lame for the rest of his life. 

I went back to the hills, this time with murder in my heart. 
I was determined to take revenge. Practically every man in 
the little village followed me, armed only with their bolos. 
They were just as resolved as I to get even with our foe. For 
several days we waited until at last the news came that a force 
from Balanga was getting ready to cross the mountain and go 
to Bagac. Walking all night long, I led fifty men armed with 
old Spanish Mausers and only two rounds of ammunition. 
These were the Sanda Tahanes* from the burned barrio of 
the town Pilar. 

*Sanda Tahanes was the name given to the insurrectos armed only 
with bolos who constituted practically the only force with which the 
revolution against Spain was started, for shotguns were very scarce. 


I took my men and ambushed them on either side of 
the trail at the back of the mountain that divided the two 
coastlines of the province of Bataan. By noon of a very hot 
day, a force of about thirty Americans headed by an officer 
on horseback came up, men and animal with their tongues 
hanging out from heat and fatigue. 

At the first discharge of our rifles the horse ran away with 
his rider and instinctively the tired soldiers followed their 
leader. We killed two whose corpses I had buried. It was 
my last engagement with the American troops, for from that 
time on my malaria came back and I was never well enough 
to indulge in any guerilla warfare. I picked out a hut in 
the mountains of Bataan, which the American troops never 
reached at that time, but which became familiar to them 
during the recent Bataan campaign. 

The American forces had occupied the whole province of 
Bataan, but the Filipinos including those living in the towns 
were still loyal to the Revolution. They told us the movements 
of the American troops and occasionally, whenever they 
could, sent us some food. 

About the end of February, we received reports to the 
effect that General Aguinaldo had been captured in Palanan. 
We did not believe it. We thought that it was part of a plan 
to dishearten and induce us to quit, for, by that time, there 
had already been organized in Manila a political party which 
was cooperating with the United States to bring about the 
restoration of peace at an early date. However, the news 
about the capture of Aguinaldo became so persistent that, 


at the end of March, General Mascardo summoned me to 
his headquarters and gave me orders to surrender to the 
American forces. I was to try to find out if the capture of 
Aguinaldo was a fact. The General said: "You have served 
your country well as a soldier. But you are sick and have been 
suffering from malaria so long that you simply cannot stand 
this hard life much longer. It is better for you to surrender. 
The Americans will let you free as they have done in the case 
of most of those who have already surrendered. Go back to 
your university, continue with your studies and finish your 
career. Our country needs men with education. You will 
be of service to our people in other fields. Besides, I have 
a special mission for you. I want you to find out definitely 
if General Aguinaldo has been captured. If he has, try to 
get in touch with him and tell him of the situation of our 
forces here in Bataan and over there in Zambales. Ask him 
to instruct me whether I should surrender or continue on 
fighting till my last man." 

With a heavy heart, I took leave of my General and started 
for Mariveles without saying good-by either to my comrades 
at headquarters or to the men under my command. General 
Mascardo did not want anybody to learn of the mission he 
had given me. 

One early morning in the month of April, 1901, clad in a 
worn-out uniform of a major of General Aguinaldo's army, 
emaciated from hunger and lingering illness, I walked down 
the slopes of Mariveles Mountain, accompanied by two 
soldiers, to surrender to the American post stationed in the 


little town of Mariveles. The mayor of the town, a Filipino, 
had previously negotiated my surrender with Lieutenant 
Miller, the commandant of the post. I was met at the 
outskirts of the town by Lieutenant Miller, the first American 
with whom I had ever come into personal contact. After an 
exchange of greetings, Lieutenant Miller told me through an 
interpreter that I could consider myself free and should keep 
my revolver and my dagger, but that he would take the rifles 
carried by my soldiers and would give them in exchange 
thirty pesos each. I handed Lieutenant Miller my dagger as 
a present. (This same dagger he sent back to me soon after 
I was elected President of the Commonwealth, thirty-five 
years later.) Lieutenant Miller invited me to come and stay 
in his headquarters until the next day when a launch would 
take me to Manila. During the day I turned over in my mind 
whether I should tell Lieutenant Miller of the special mission 
which General Mascardo had confided to me, and having 
come to the conclusion that by so doing I would sooner find 
out whether General Aguinaldo had been captured or not, I 
decided to do so. Lieutenant Miller said: "Of course, it is true 
that General Aguinaldo has been captured,- he was captured 
by General Funston in Palanan. He is now a prisoner of 
war, but he is living in Malacafian Palace where the Military 
Governor, General Arthur MacArthur, lives, and where he is 
treated with the utmost courtesy and consideration. I will 
inform Manila of your mission at once,- perhaps they will let 
you see Aguinaldo with your own eyes." 

That night before I fell asleep I heard shooting in the 


streets of Mariveles. Later, I learned that the detachment 
operating between Orion and Marivales had attempted to 
attack the garrison, but withdrew after an exchange of a few 
shots. I assumed that my old comrades, believing that I had 
deserted them, intended to punish me. On the other hand, 
Lieutenant Miller now suspected that my surrender was a 
stratagem. My calmness when he entered my bedroom with 
a revolver in his hand convinced him of my innocence and 
without further ado he left the room. 

On the afternoon of the following day, a small launch 
carried me from Mariveles to Manila and I was conducted 
directly to the Malacanan Palace — the holy place from 
which Spanish Governors -General had ruled the Philippines, 
and which I had never seen before. I was ushered into the 
office of General Arthur MacArthur, the father of the hero of 
the Battle of the Philippines. Fred Fisher who, in after years, 
became a member of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, 
acted as interpreter. He told General MacArthur in English 
what I had said in Spanish,- namely, that I was instructed 
by General Mascardo to find out if General Aguinaldo had 
been captured. The American General, who stood erect and 
towered over my head, raised his hand without saying a word 
and pointing to the room across the hall, made a motion for 
me to go in there. Trembling with emotion, I slowly walked 
through the hall toward the room, hoping against hope that I 
would find no one inside. At the door two American soldiers 
in uniform, with gloves and bayonets, stood on guard. As 
I entered the room, I saw General Aguinaldo — the man 


whom I had considered as the personification of my own 
beloved country, the man whom I had seen at the height of 
his glory surrounded by generals and soldiers, statesmen and 
politicians, the rich and the poor, respected and honored by 
all. I now saw that same man alone in a room, a prisoner of 
war! It is impossible for me to describe what I felt, but as I 
write these lines, forty-two years later, my heart throbs as 
fast as it did then. I felt that the whole world had crumbled,- 
that all my hopes and all my dreams for my country were 
gone forever! It took me some time before I could collect 
myself, but finally I was able to say in Tagalog, almost in a 
whisper, to my General: "Good evening, Mr. President." 

"Good evening," he answered rather coldly. 

I continued: "I have been sent by General Mascardo to 
find out whether it is true that you have been captured and 
if so to receive your instructions as to whether he should 
continue fighting or surrender." 

General Aguinaldo did not answer. It was clear from 
the expression of his face (and very seldom did General 
Aguinaldo betray his thoughts) that he suspected me of 
being a spy. So I turned my head and showed him a scar on 
my neck caused by a treatment used by Filipino herb doctors 
in the villages to cure a fever. As soon as he saw the scar 
his face brightened somewhat, and he said: "I am glad to see 
you. How many more men has General Mascardo?" 

I answered: "About three hundred in Bataan, one hundred 
and fifty or two hundred in Zambales, with two or three 
rounds of ammunition." 


"How are you getting along with your food?" he asked. 

"Sometimes we eat nothing for twenty- four hours,- most of 
the time we have rice twice a day and very seldom we get 
fish or meat," was my reply. 

The General then proceeded: "As you see, I am now a 
prisoner. I have taken the oath of allegiance to the United 
States and I have no right directly or indirectly to advise you 
to go on fighting. On the other hand, if I were to send word 
to General Mascardo to surrender, he might think that I am 
acting under duress and he would have the right to disobey 
me. General Mascardo has to assume the responsibility and 
decide for himself, whether he wants to surrender or not. If 
you see him, give him my best regards and tell him what you 
have seen, that is, that I am in Malacanan, very well treated 
by the Americans, but a prisoner just the same." 

With tears in my eyes, I prayed, "God keep you, Mr. 
President," and left. I went to the house of Dr. Alejandro 
Albert, a former colonel of the Philippine Army, and spent the 
night there. I did not sleep. I thought of General Aguinaldo, 
my country and the future — a very dark future as it seemed 
to me then! 



FTER completing my mission, I stayed in the 
house of Dr. Albert with the idea of remaining 
there until I could find work and resume my study 
of law. Before I could find a job, however, my 

siesta was interrupted one afternoon by a most unwelcome 
visitor. This suspicious looking fellow told me that I was 
wanted by the Provost Marshal. On reaching the Provost's 
office, I was told to follow an American sergeant who knew 
what to do with me. The sergeant was a gentleman. He 
conducted me to a big house which during the Spanish 
regime had been occupied by the Civil Governor of the 
province of Manila. It was now the stopping place for 
the leaders, civilian and military alike, and for intransigent 
chiefs of the revolution. Mabini, the greatest character of his 
time and many times the Prime Minister of Aguinaldo, had 
hallowed its halls. Two Filipino generals were then unwilling 
guests in the house. I was left in a nice room where I lived 
for two months, eating good food but not knowing why I 
was confined there. 

One day the two generals were taken out, General Diokno 
to his own house and General Aquino to Bilibid Prison. The 
latter had been court-martialed and sentenced to death for 
the alleged murder of an American prisoner. However his 


sentence was commuted by the President of the United 
States to life imprisonment, and he was later set free when 
the general armistice was proclaimed. 

I, on the other hand, was taken to another prison — a room 
by the Postigo Gate inside the stone wall which surrounds 
the Old City of Manila. During the Spanish regime, this 
room had housed the keeper of that gate. I found in this 
dungeon more than thirty men, and we slept there almost on 
top of each other. It was a damp place with only two small 
windows. Our food consisted of rice and canned salmon. 
Here I remained for four months without having to answer 
any charge. At long last, one stormy night the officer in 
charge of my cell came to notify me that I was free. He had 
been doing this humanitarian service from time to time as the 
jailed insurrectos were successively set free. He used to read 
from a sheet of paper the names of the fortunate ones. On 
this particular evening, as soon as I heard my name I jumped 
from my seat and almost cracked my head against the ceiling. 
On noticing my excitement, the officer, doubtless with good 
intentions, told me that since it was raining that night, I 
could postpone my departure until the next day. I thanked 
him for his kindness and promptly left, not for the house 
of Colonel Albert but for the old hiding place in Navotas. 
There I waited until I could verify whether I had been let 
loose by mistake or not. It was my firm determination to go 
back to the hills if they tried to arrest me again. To this day, 
I have never known why I was so badly treated. Of course, 
this made me more anti-American than ever before. After 


becoming convinced that I was really free, I returned to the 
house of Dr. Albert. 

I was, in effect, penniless when I surrendered to Lieutenant 
Miller in Bataan. All I had with me then was the five-dollar 
gold coin given to me by the parish priest of Pilar which I had 
saved and had spent before I was imprisoned. The Alberts 
gave me room and board while I was looking for work. Before 
I could start working I had a nervous breakdown. Upon the 
request of the Dominican friars, the then acting Archbishop 
of Manila, Bishop Alcocer of Cebu, gave instructions that I 
be given a room in the Catholic hospital of San Juan de Dios. 
Here I was treated for many months by the best physicians 
in the hospital — Doctors Miciano, Valdes and Singian. 
When I was convalescent, Dr. Singian whom I had met in 
San Juan de Letran, although four years my senior, took 
me to his home and kept me with him until he married the 
daughter of the Filipino Chief Justice of the Supreme Court 
— Justice Cayetano Arellano — a leading member of the bar 
in the later years of the Spanish Government, whom Mr. Taft 
praised as the equal of the best lawyers in the world. 

By the time that Dr. Singian was married, I had completely 
recovered from my malaria and my nervous breakdown, and 
was again the strong, healthy young man that I was when, for 
the first time, I joined the revolutionary forces. I began work 
for twenty-five pesos a month as clerk in the Monte de Piedad 
— a sort of pawnshop established as a charitable institution. 
During the Spanish regime it had been administered by a 
board appointed by the Governor-General and, upon the 


transfer of sovereignty to America, was taken over by the 
Archbishop of Manila and administered by a board appointed 
by him. Years afterwards, the same Archbishop converted 
the Monte de Piedad into a trust and banking institution. 

Once I had this job, I lived in the house of Mr. Antonio 
and stayed until I took my bar examination in April, 1903. 

By the time I resumed my study of law I did not have to 
attend classes at the university. The American Government 
had by then enacted a law reorganizing the whole educational 
system of the Philippines which provided, among other 
things, that any one who had taken a three-year course in 
law was entitled to practise the profession after passing the 
bar examination. Since I had already fulfilled this condition 
I proceeded to prepare for the examination, and in April, 
1 903, 1 was admitted to the bar. The day that I learned of the 
result of my examination, I bid good-by to Mr. Sotelo, the 
cashier and chief of the department where I worked. The 
old man advised me to stay in my post. He reminded me 
of the fact that many lawyers were starving in the streets. 
"Here," he said, "you have your future assured. In a few years 
more, your present salary of twenty-five pesos [$12.50] will 
be doubled and who knows, it may be that before you have 
grown too old you will be receiving as much as I am getting 
now." (He was perfectly satisfied with his salary of two- 
hundred pesos [$100] a month.) After thanking him for his 
fatherly counsel, I left. 

Two days later, I was sent for by Francisco Ortigas, at that 
time the head of one of the best and most successful law 


firms in Manila. Francisco Ortigas had been an intern in the 
College of San Juan de Letran where the Dominican friars 
for five years had given him, as they had done with many 
others, free room and board, free tuition, and even clothes 
and shoes. He had known me as a youngster in San Juan 
de Letran and also a freshman, sophomore and junior in the 
University of Santo Tomas. He invited me to work in his 
office at one hundred fifty pesos a month to start with, with 
the right to have my own clients in cases where the client 
came to seek my professional service. I accepted the offer 
and I still remember the thrill of my heart when I won the 
first case that Ortigas entrusted to me — the defense of five 
ignorant men accused of aiding the few revolutionaries still 
fighting in the hills. The first month that I worked in the 
law firm of Ortigas I made only the one hundred fifty pesos 
that he paid me as salary. The second month, I made P50.00 
besides from a case brought to me by my first client. The 
third month, I made from my own clients twice as much as I 
was receiving as salary from the law firm, so I decided to open 
my own law office. There were then plenty of civil as well as 
criminal cases while lawyers were still few in number. 

I may say here that I had not as yet been reconciled to 
the American regime. I was proud of the fact that I knew 
nothing of English and was determined not to learn it. How 
contemptible seemed to me those Filipinos who belonged to 
the Federal Party — a political organization which advocated 
permanent annexation of the Philippines to the United States 
on the basis of eventual statehood. I blamed this party for 


the cessation of Filipino resistance to the American regime 
for it was the party's campaign praising America and its 
libertarian policy that induced the people to refuse to us, the 
revolutionaries, further aid and support. 

In October, 1903, I had to go to the province of Tayabas 
to attend a case in court that affected me personally. Upon 
the death of my father, his life long rival — one Fabian 
Hernandez — had taken possession of our little farm in Baler 
pretending that my father had sold it to him. Hernandez 
had falsified my father's signature. It was not so much the 
value of my small two-acre farm that forced me to abandon 
temporarily my profitable practice in Manila. It was the fact 
that that tiny piece of land had supported my family and 
myself for many years and that as a young man I had sweated 
in clearing those fields. Then I felt that somehow, by this 
act of usurpation of my father's property Fabian Fernandez 
had become in some way implicated in the murder of my 
father and young brother. So I went to Lucena, the capital of 
Tayabas province. Although by this time Baler had become 
a part of this province, I knew no one there, for during the 
Spanish regime, Baler, San Jose, and Casiguran constituted a 
district under a sort of military government. There had been 
no intercourse whatsoever between Baler and Lucena. 

Before I embarked for Tayabas, I got a letter of introduction 
from another lawyer — a friend of mine — to the governor 
of Tayabas who was a Filipino, for since 1902, the American 
Government had permitted the people to elect their 
provincial and municipal officials. On my first day in Lucena 


I delivered to Governor Paras the letter of introduction. In 
line with the proverbial Filipino hospitality, Governor Paras 
invited me to stay in his house until I was ready to go to the 
town of Tayabas where the court was holding sessions. 

With the governor I talked about the situation of our 
country. He was an honest and real patriot. He told me 
that he did not seek the job, but accepted it because it was 
his sincere opinion that the only way of promoting the 
freedom as well as the welfare of the Filipino people was by 
cooperating with the American Government. He pointed 
out to me that the founders of the Federal Party (branded by 
most of the Filipinos as the Americanista Pary) were already 
taking part in the highest council of the civil government, and 
that the steps taken so far by the United States all confirmed 
the policy enunciated by President McKinley that America 
had come to the Philippines not to subjugate but to train the 
Filipino people in the art of self-government so that in due 
time they might become a self-governing nation. 

Although I dissented from the opinion of Governor Paras, 
his words made some impression on me. I wondered, in my 
own mind, if the freedom which we lost by fighting America 
could not be won by cooperating with her. The idea flashed 
through my head that I might renew the same fight by 
peaceful means, by taking active part in the political field. 
"Why not start with the governorship of Tayabas?" I asked 

Governor Paras introduced me to Colonel Bandholtz who 
immediately befriended me. He invited me to his house, 


presented me to Mrs. Bandholtz and asked me to come to 
lunch before I went to Tayabas. Colonel Bandholtz was a 
very unusual man. Although an American, he had been 
the first elected governor of Tayabas. He had learned the 
Spanish language well and knew a few words of Tagalog, the 
native tongue in that province. He made me feel at home in 
his company and asked me to come to him whenever I was 
in need of his services. In this way my first meeting with 
Colonel Bandholtz almost made me forget the ill-treatment 
which I had received while a prisoner in the Postigo Gate. 

I easily won my case in the court of Judge Linebarger, 
who knew as little of the Spanish Civil Law as I did of the 
American Common Law. Judge Linebarger boasted of having 
studied law in Spain and indeed, like Colonel Bandholtz, he 
also spoke Spanish well. He dictated his decisions following 
the Spanish form, but his legal attainments did not go any 
further. This judge was industrious and perfectly honest. 
He presided over the courts of Tayabas, Mindoro, and 
Marinduque. Soon after my own case had been disposed 
of, I received other cases — the most famous one being my 
defense of the mayor of the town who had been persecuted 
by the most influential family in Tayabas who had bossed the 
town since Spanish days. It was generally expected that my 
client would lose, for the Filipinos still believed that justice 
favored the rich. Furthermore, the prosecuting attorney was 
a member of this family and although he took no part in 
the prosecution it had been taken for granted that he would 
have great influence with Judge Linebarger. To the surprise 


of most people, although with manifest public approval, 
my client was acquitted, a fact which not only inspired 
confidence in the American courts but at once gave me some 
legal reputation throughout the whole province. 

Thereafter clients came in numbers to my law office in 
Tayabas — the rich as well as the poor. I adopted two rules, 
one for the rich client, whom I charged heavy fees, and 
one for the poor clients, whom I served gratis with as much 
interest and zeal as I did when working for money. I decided 
to establish myself permanently in Tayabas,- in the first place, 
I was making much more money than I expected to make in 
Manila, and in the second place, I had more opportunities to 
defend my old comrades in arms who would yield neither to 
force nor to prosecution. It is worthy of note that after the 
establishment of the American Civil Government (replacing 
the American Military Dictatorship) which was vested with 
both executive and legislative powers during the first years 
after its establishment, a law was enacted imposing up to 
twenty years' imprisonment of any revolutionary who had 
not surrendered or been captured before that time, or of any 
one who in any manner or form helped those who still kept 
the guerilla warfare. The law defined both the guerillas and 
their helpers as bandoleros (bandits). In the latter part of 1903, 
and even during the first half of 1904, every provincial jail in 
the Philippines was filled with so-called bandits. Innocent 
Filipinos living in faraway villages who were put in jail on 
mere suspicion or on woefully deficient evidence, were 
innumerable. I volunteered to defend all those who had 


no lawyers to represent them in court, and I hope I may be 
forgiven if I proudly state that I won the liberty of every man 
whom I defended. As usual, I divided my time in reasonable 
proportions between making money — and plenty of it — and 
serving the poor without charge. 

The neighboring towns of Tayabas — Lucena, Sariaya, and 
Lucban — which from time immemorial had been the richest 
and gayest places in the province, were in turn the scenes of 
my social diversions. Judge Linebarger became fond of me and 
placed much reliance upon my knowledge of Spanish substantive 
law and procedure. Colonel Bandholtz, whose house was in the 
near-by town of Lucena, continued to ask me to visit him and 
our friendship developed from day to day. 

By the end of 1903 Judge Linebarger called me to his 
office after the court session one day and inquired whether I 
would like to be the prosecuting attorney of the province of 
Mindoro, a position then vacant. He said that the salary of 
the office was about three thousand pesos ($1 ,500) a year. I 
told him I would give him my answer, one way or another, in 
twenty- four hours. 

I pondered over this matter. Neither from the point of 
view of experience and knowledge that I would gain as a 
lawyer, nor from the viewpoint of pecuniary return could 
the offer be seriously considered. A prosecuting attorney 
only dealt with criminal cases and the annual salary of the 
prosecuting attorney of Mindoro was much less than what 
one of a number of my cases had netted me. My conversation 
with Governor Paras came to my mind with striking force, 


for the kindness of Colonel Bandholtz as well as his fairness 
in dealing with Filipinos, together with the honesty, if not 
the learning, of Judge Linebarger, had already inclined me to 
try in practice the advice of my provincial governor. I said 
myself: "This position which is being unexpectedly offered 
to me may be the starting point set by fate for a greater 
service that I may render to my people in their work of self- 
redemption." Anyway, as a sort of mental reservation, I told 
myself that I could always resign the post and return to my 
law practice if I should be disappointed. 

I saw Judge Linebarger at the appointed time and gave 
him an affirmative answer. Dr. Trinidad Pardo de Tavera 
was then visiting Tayabas on an official inspection trip. He 
with two other Filipinos were members of the Philippine 
Commission, a body originally constituted entirely of 
Americans appointed by President McKinley and invested 
with all governmental powers to administer the affairs of the 
Philippines, though subject to the supervision and control 
of the Secretary of War. Dr. Tavera, a distinguished Filipino 
scholar in the last decade of the Spanish regime, had been 
the founder of the Federal Party which advocated full and 
unreserved cooperation with the United States. In his hands 
Judge Linebarger left the matter of my appointment as 
prosecuting attorney of Mindoro. Upon Dr. Tavera's return 
to Manila, Civil Governor Taft signed my commission and I 
went to the dreaded island of Mindoro. 

This province was said to be infested by malaria, although 
in the towns the disease was not so prevalent as in the hills. 


My office was located in Calapan, capital of the province, 
and there I met the governor, Captain Offley of the American 
Army. At that time the province of Mindoro had not been 
listed as one of those entitled to choose their own governor. 
My duty, of course, was to prosecute criminal offenders. 
After going over the papers left by my predecessor, I came 
to the conclusion that two-thirds of the men in prison, on 
the serious charge of banditry had been put there without 
sufficient evidence. At that time recourse to the writ of 
habeas corpus could not always be had in the provinces 
where judges with jurisdiction to grant the writ were only 
available during the regular or extraordinary sessions of the 
court. So I had to wait until the arrival of Judge Linebarger 
and then move for the dismissal of all cases unsupported by 
proper evidence. 

After serving six months as prosecuting attorney here I 
was promoted to Tayabas. On my return I still found my 
old friends, among them Governor Paras and Colonel 

Colonel Bandholtz then insisted that I should learn English 
and offered to be my teacher. He set the day for my first 
lesson after presenting me with an English grammar. We did 
not get very far. The lessons could not be given regularly 
either he was on an inspection trip of the Constabulary forces 
under his command, or because I was too busy with my cases, 
but a beginning had been made. I no longer boasted, but 
rather was sorry that I spoke no word of English. 

The case which definitely established my popularity in 


Tayabas and which, in my opinion, later contributed to my 
election as provincial governor, I shall call the "Mason Case," 
because that was not the name. Mason was an attorney, 
and accompanied by his secretary who acted also as his 
interpreter, he came to my office one day with twenty- five 
different deeds of sale of agricultural properties which he 
wanted me to register in his name. (The prosecuting attorney 
was then at the same time the register of deeds.) I took the 
papers from him and said that I would attend to it as soon as 
possible, and he left. 

I placed the papers in one of my drawers and was so busy 
that I forgot all about them. A week later Mason's secretary 
came to see me in behalf of his principal to inquire whether 
I had registered the deeds and I told him no, explaining my 
reasons, promising, however, to do it immediately. One 
hour later, Mr. Mason himself, accompanied by the same 
secretary, came to my office with his hat on without even 
greeting me, shouted: "What did you do with the papers 
I gave you?" I repeated the answer I had given an hour 
before to his secretary. He then threatened that he would 
complain to my superiors in Manila unless I register the deeds 
immediately. My temper, which I had been trying to control 
since he entered my office, gave way and getting hold of 
my inkstand, I ordered him out of the office, saying that 
otherwise I would break his head. He left, but not without 
repeating his threat. 

No man is really brave who does not feel completely 
blameless, and since I knew that I had not been to busy to 


have registered the deeds, as soon as Mr. Mason left I took 
the papers from the drawer and proceeded to examine them. 
I found that the documents covered sales of lands planted 
with coconut trees including the working animals, and that 
all in all, the twenty-five deeds of sale represented several 
thousand acres with about 50,000 coconut trees and two 
or three hundred working animals. The total value of the 
properties exceeded sixty-thousand pesos ($30,000). The 
owners of these properties were all in the provincial jail 
of Tayabas. They had signed the deeds while in jail, with 
Mr. Mason's secretary and one of the jail guards acting as 
witnesses. The Justice of the Peace of the town in those times 
performed the duties of notary public. The consideration for 
the transfer of the properties to Mr. Mason was his services 
as a lawyer to be rendered in defense of these men, all of 
whom were charged with banditry (violation of the act 
which I have before reffered). 

I was most suspicious of the whole transaction, so I went 
immediately to the provincial jail of Tayabas. I asked the 
first prisoner if he knew Mr. Mason and he said yes, as he was 
his lawyer. I asked him if he had given Mason his farm and 
working animals in consideration of Mason's services as his 
lawyer, and he answered most emphatically, "No." Then the 
man told me this story: "Mr. Mason came to me and offered 
to defend me. I said I had no cash but that I owned some 
land planted with coconut trees and a few working animals. 
He then promised to take my case if I would pay him three 
hundred pesos ($150.00), the amount to be delivered to him 


after I was out of jail, but he demanded as guarantee my land 
with coconut trees, plus my working animals. I agreed." 

"Is this your signature?" I asked, pointing to his name 
written in the deed for sale. He answered affirmatively. 

"How do you know the paper you have signed contained 
what you have just told me?" 

"That was the information given me by Mr. Mason." 

All the prisoners told me the same story. I sent for the 
Justice of the Peace who confirmed the declarations of the 
men. I asked the Justice of the Peace, who knew Spanish, the 
language in which the deeds were written, if he had read the 
documents, and he answered in the negative, adding that after 
hearing what Mr. Mason told the prisoners in his presence, 
he felt that it was unnecessary to read the documents for that 
would be a proof of lack of confidence in Mr. Mason who, 
being a lawyer, must be an honorable man. 

I got everybody to sign the necessary affidavits in 
accordance with their testimony and went back to my office 
to prepare immediately the presentation of twenty-five cases 
for estaja (swindling) against Mr. Mason. After giving his 
bail, Mr. Mason left for Manila. He immediately accused me 
to the Attorney General of the Philippines, of concocting 
those cases to cover my negligence in failing to register 
the deeds. An American newspaper in Manila was quick to 
attack me, but Colonel Bandholtz who was still the Chief 
of the Constabulary in Tayabas, and whose duty, among 
other things, was to go after violators of the law, gave me his 
support after making his own investigation of the case. The 


office of the Attorney General sent to Tayabas to help me try 
these cases, a Mr. Basset, a bright young lawyer who had just 
arrived from the United States. Mr. Basset later became one 
of the most successful lawyers and respected businessman in 
all China and is now in America. It should be stated before 
going any farther that in the Philippines there was not then, 
nor is there now, any trial by jury, so that Mr. Mason was tried 
only by an American judge. When the day of his trial arrived, 
four of the best lawyers of Manila came to defend him. They 
were Judge Kinkaid, Mr. Fred Fisher, Judge Bishop, and Mr. 
Green, who practised law mostly in Tayabas. Mr. Basset and 
I entered into an agreement with the defense that we would 
try one case first, and if the defendant was acquitted either 
by the court of first instance or, on appeal, by the Supreme 
Court, we would ask for the dismissal of all the other cases. 

Mason's case caused commotion in the province of 
Tayabas, if not in the Philippines. It was the first time since 
the beginning of American occupation that an American — 
and an American lawyer at that — had been prosecuted in 
the courts of the Islands, and what amazed the Filipinos most 
was the fact that the prosecutor was a Filipino. Those were 
still the so-called "Days of the Empire," when the majority of 
the Americans in the Philippines were decidedly anti-Filipino 
and looked upon us with contempt. Men like Bandholtz and 
few others were rare exceptions. Governor Taft himself was 
not only disliked but actually hated by the majority of his 
compatriots because he delivered a speech entitled "The 
Philippines for the Filipinos." It was in those days that the 


expression originated: "He [the Filipino] may be a brother of 
William F. Taft, but ain't no brother of mine." 

Needless to say, Mason was convicted. He appealed the 
case to the Supreme Court. While the case was on appeal, 
he went to Hongkong and on learning that the decision of 
the lower court had been confirmed, he forfeited his bail and 
never returned to the Philippines. A few years later, I saw 
him in a hotel in Shanghai. 




HE Mason case of course increased my popularity 
among my countrymen, but although Colonel 
Bandholtz and my immediate superior in the 
office of the Attorney General, Judge James 

Ross, became even stronger friends of mine thereafter, some 
unknown enemies started persecuting me. Behind my back I 
was investigated for several charges and when finally I learned 
what was going on, contrary to the advice of friend my Judge 
Ross, I insisted upon resigning as prosecuting attorney. I 
resumed immediately the practice of my profession in the 
province of Tayabas. 

I must pause here to relate an event which later developed 
into one of the important steps in my life. To it I owe having 
been the happiest of husbands and the proudest of fathers. 

Once I was installed in Tayabas as prosecuting attorney, 
I wrote a letter to my Aunt Zeneida, who was already a 
widow, inviting her to come and stay with me, with her two 
unmarried daughters, Amparo and Aurora. This aunt and 
my mother had loved each other dearly and had been the 
closest of friends even after their marriages. The youngest 


daughter of my aunt, Aurora, had been raised by my mother 
from childhood in my home, and the little girl had been my 
father's pet. (Earlier in this book I mentioned that during 
my visit to Baler after the American occupation of Manila, 
I stayed in the house of my Aunt Zenaida.) The family 
accepted my invitation and came to live with me. My cousin 
Aurora looked very pretty. I sent her to Manila to study in 
the Normal School. The government had a boarding house 
for girls under the care of Miss Colman, and there Aurora 
stayed except during vacation time when she came and 
joined her mother and sister in my house. 

On resuming my practice, I made more money than before 
albeit I continued to give free service to the poor. Within 
six months, I had clients from the remotest towns of the 

When the election of 1905 for provincial governor 
was approaching, I was already a convert to the policy of 
cooperation with the Government of United States. Every 
pronouncement made by the highest spokesman of the 
American people was to effect that the America was in 
the Philippines as the liberator, not as the oppressor of the 
Filipino people. 

General Bandholtz by this time had been transferred to 
Manila and I had met his successor, Colonel J. G. Harbord, 
now the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Radio 
Corporation of America. Colonel Harbord was a different 
type of man from General Bandholtz. I make no comparison of 
the two men who became very dear friends of mine, especially 


since one has died, while the other, thanks be to God, is still 
alive. But I must say that no American in those early days 
had as much influence in forming my high conception of 
public duty or gave me a better idea of American manhood 
than the then Colonel Harbord. General Harbord is, in my 
opinion, one of the greatest men I have ever met. After a 
conference with him I decided to run for governor and easily 
defeated my two other rivals for the office. 

My first visit to my home town after my election as 
governor of Tayabas I made with Colonel Harbord, he wrote 
of that visit as follows: 

As Constabulary District Commander I had a Coast Guard 
cutter under my orders, and asked the young Governor to let 
me take him back to his native Baler for his first visit since he 
had left it as a young insurrecto eight years before. He came 
on board the cutter at Atimonan on a June evening 1906 
and the next morning found us opposite Baler. Once the 
fishermen along shore sighted us, the news quickly spread 
to the village. When we landed through the surf, the narrow 
sandy beach was filled by a great crowd of Filipinos of both 
sexes. The whole population of Baler was there on the rumor 
that the Governor had come back to his native village. 

The procession formed in a long column headed by the 
young Governor. His parents were no longer living but 
dozens of relatives and older people who had known them 
and him in his youth crowded into the column. The village 
band played gay and patriotic airs all the way from the beach 
to the town. The officials, the teachers of the schools, the 


local businessmen, and most important, the Spanish parish 
priest who had known the Governor in his boyhood, and 
still remained in the town, marched at the head of the 
procession. Few Spanish priests still lived and headed their 
old parishes after the Insurrection had ended. Old women, 
who had known the boy from babyhood crowded to march 
in turn with arms around the young Governor, with many 
cries of "Manuelito," and there was much joyous laughter 
and some weeping over the home town boy now grown into 
a great man. 

At the village we found the plaza crowded with more people 
who were anxious to do honor to the distinguished visitor. 
The whole day was given over to rejoicing. Speeches were 
made in Tagalog, Spanish, and English. Native games were 
played all afternoon. Fencing contests showed the method 
of instructing young boys in the handling of native weapons. 
Dances were danced never before seen by Americans and 
the whole day was a gala day. That evening there was a 
great banquet* with more speeches, much music and more 
dancing. The full moon of tropic night lighted us down to 
the beach when the feasting and dancing were over, and we 
went down to accompanied by the whole village. 

In twelve years in the Philippines I saw many moving 
spectacles of joy and sorrow but that day at Baler remains in 

*If the name of banquet could be given to typical Filipino food served 
in the most ordinary plates, but with plenty of fish, crab, chicken, and 


my memory as the most dramatic and touching day passed 
in those twelve crowded years. I never have seen my friend 
Governor Quezon again without a different feeling toward 
him than I have toward any other Filipino, and I have known 
the best and brightest of his contemporaries. Nearly forty 
years have passed and I am proud to say that our friendship is 
still the same. What I saw that day is the explanation to me 
of the wonderful hold he has over the hearts of his people, 
which has enabled him to lead them as a unit against the 
invader who followed Pearl Harbor. 

As governor of Tayabas my main concern was to prove that 
the Filipinos were capable of governing themselves. I gave 
complete freedom to the town mayors and municipal councils to 
manage the affairs of their respective localities and insisted that 
I be given by the authorities in Manila a free hand in governing 
my province. The Executive Secretary of the Governor- 
General then was Frank W. Carpenter. It was he who did the 
actual supervision of the provincial and municipal governments 
and he did not interfere with my work. He was a very capable 
executive and a hard-working man. 

By an Act of the United States Congress, it had been 
provided that two years after the taking of the census, if peace 
and public order prevailed in the Philippines, an election for 
members of a lower house of the legislature would be called by 
the Governor- General. Thus for the first time in their history 
the Filipino people would be allowed through their elected 
representatives to take part in the legislative department 
of their government. As pointed out heretofore, America 


had governed the Philippines, during the occupation and 
pacification of the Islands, through a military government, 
and after the organized resistance of the Filipinos had been 
overcome, a civil government was inaugurated, the powers 
of which, both executive and judicial, were concentrated 
in the hands of Philippine Commission headed by Mr. Taft 
who also was the Chief Executive. This body, in the early 
days of the Civil Government, was composed executively of 
Americans, but very soon three Filipinos — Legarda, Tavera, 
and Luzurriaga — were added as members of the Commission 
although possessing legislative powers only, and forming but 
a minority even in the legislative functions of that body. 

The Judicial Department was constituted by Courts 
of Justices of the Peace, Courts of First Instance, and the 
Supreme Court. The Governor-General appointed the 
Justices of the Peace and Judges of the Court of First Instance, 
all removable at his discretion. The President of the United 
States appointed the members of the Supreme Court, likewise 
to hold office during the President's pleasure. The majority 
of the members of this court were Americans, although from 
the beginning the Chief Justice has always been a Filipino. 

When the election to the National Assembly was called 
in 1907, I announced my willingness to occupy a seat in 
the new elective body if my district wanted to elect me. By 
this mere announcement, I was elected to the Assembly by 
practically unanimous vote of my district. 

In the first election of the Philippine Assembly, as was 
the case with every succeeding election, the Nationalist 


Party to which I belong — and which carried the banner 
of immediate, absolute, and complete independence — won 
by an overwhelming majority. The Governor- General was 
then the Honorable James L. Smith of California, while Mr. 
Taft had been promoted to the position of Secretary of War. 
Representing President Theodore Roosevelt, Secretary Taft 
went to Manila and inaugurated the National Assembly. 

In his address at the inaugural ceremonies, Secretary 
Taft reiterated the American policy of granting the Filipino 
people an ever-increasing measure of self-government as they 
proved themselves to be capable of assuming and exercising 
greater responsibilities. 

The law that created the National Assembly also provided 
for the election by the Philippine Commission, acting as the 
upper house, and by the Philippine assembly, acting as the 
lower house of the legislature, of two Resident Commissioners 
who would represent the Philippines before the Government 
of the United States, with a seat but no vote in Congress. 
Messrs. Legarda and Ocampo were elected the first two 

At the first session of the Philippine Assembly, Sergio 
Osmena, upon my motion, was chosen by unanimous vote 
Speaker of the House. This, despite the fact that sixteen 
members from the opposition had been elected as members 
of the body. I became the floor leader and was appointed by 
the Speaker Chairman of the Committee on Appropriations, 
which also had jurisdiction over revenue bills. 

My first clash with the American Government while 


serving in the National Assembly was about a bill pending 
in the United States Congress to provide for the trade 
relations between the United States and the Philippines. 
The bill contemplated the establishment of free trade 
relations between the said two countries. Certain private 
interests in the United States were opposed to the bill for 
selfish reasons and Secretary of War Taft, under whose 
department the Philippines then were, instructed the 
Philippine Commission to indorse the proposed bill and 
to secure the concurrence of the Philippine Assembly to 
its action. I fought the measure upon the ground that free 
trade relations between our countries would result in making 
the Philippines absolutely dependent upon the markets of 
the United States. This, I contended, would create a most 
serious situation in Philippine economic life, especially when 
the time came for the granting of our independence. The 
Assembly by overwhelming vote, supported me, only the 
opponents of immediate independence taking the other side. 
My contention was proved sound when finally the question 
of Philippine independence was taken up by the Congress of 
the United States. 

After the first session of the National Assembly, Secretary 
of War Taft reported to President Theodore Roosevelt that 
the Filipinos had lived up to the expectations of their friends 
and proved a disappointment to their enemies. 

In the closing days of the second session of the Philippine 
Assembly, the State Department in Washington transmitted 
to the Governor- General of the Philippines an invitation 


from the government of the Czar of Russia to an International 
Congress of Navigation which was to be held in Saint 
Petersburg. Governor- General Smith informed Speaker 
Osmena of this invitation. I told the Speaker that I should 
like to go although I was as competent to take part in that 
Congress as a shoe-peddler would be. My purpose in mind 
was to have my first glimpse of the outside world which, as 
I thought, would prepare me for the next post to which I 
was then aspiring — that of Resident Commissioner to the 
United States. My wishes were fulfilled, but needless to say, 
I was attacked right and left by the press and properly so, 
although I might say that the trip eventually proved to be 
not a bad investment for Filipino taxpayers. 

I took with me two secretaries — one to act as my 
interpreter, an American who knew Spanish well, and a 
Filipino newspaper man who, years afterwards, occupied 
positions in the executive and legislative departments of the 
Philippine Government. We took a Japanese steamer, for 
our itinerary contemplated going from Manila to Japan and 
thence to Russia by way of the Siberian railroad. Our ship 
called at the ports of Nagasaki and Shimunaseki,- then we 
crossed the mainland of Japan by train and took a boat on 
the opposite coast, to Vladivostok. 

Of my first impression of Japan, I wrote to a friend in the 
Philippines the following: "The Japanese people are less 
capable of self-government than we are." 

In Russia I met, among other persons, Alexander Kerensky 
who later played for a short time an important part during the 


days of the Russian Revolution. I was too late to participate 
in the Navigation Congress, but I had occasion to observe the 
extreme poverty and ignorance of the masses of the Russian 
people while their grand dukes were swimming in luxury. 

From Russia I went to Berlin, thence to Paris, London, 
and finally to the United States. I arrived in New York in 
summer and President Theodore Roosevelt invited me to 
lunch with him at Oyster Bay. In my first meeting with 
President Theodore Roosevelt, what made the most striking 
impression on me was the simplicity and democratic manners 
of an American President. I had read of European monarchs 
and their courts and never suspected that America had truly 
discarded their ways and ceremonial practices! I had seen, if 
only from a distance, Spanish Governors-General riding in 
a carriage drawn by six white horses, preceded and followed 
by cavalry escorts! 

President Theodore Roosevelt greeted me warmly and 
took me to his table without ceremony. The other two 
guests were Secretary Cortelyou of the Treasury, and my 
interpreter, Mr. Escamilla. After the luncheon, President 
Roosevelt had a short conference with me. He said he was 
pleased with the conduct of the Philippine Assembly and 
assured me that the policy of the United States was to grant 
the Philippines their independence in due time. Being only 
a very provincial Filipino, knowing nothing about protocol, 
nor of the injunction against quoting heads of state, I repeated 
to newspapermen what President Roosevelt had told me. I 
was promptly listed by presidential decree as a member of 


the "Ananias Club"! 

On my return to Manila I was given a hearty welcome 
by the Nacionalista Party. Not unnaturally my partisans 
preferred to give credit to what I said rather than to the 
subsequent denial by the President of the United States. 

At the second and last session of the first Philippine 
Assembly I was elected Resident Commissioner to the United 
States to succeed Pablo Ocampo. I arrived in Washington 
on the afternoon of December 24, 1 909, about the same hour 
that, years later, I arrived on Corregidor with my family, and 
in the company of High Commissioner Sayre, on December 
24, 1941. Only there was a slight difference between the 
circumstances under which the two trips were made. 




IT WAS an extremely cold night in Washington and I 
feared that I might catch pneumonia, against which I had 
been warned before leaving Manila by my friend, Mr. 
W. Cameron Forbes, then Secretary of Commerce and 
Communications. Secretary Forbes is known as the road- 
builder of the Philippines. So I spent my first Christmas Eve 
in Washington duly shut up in my rooms at the Champlain 
Apartment House. The following day, however, although 
the streets were covered with snow, I ventured to go out, 
protected with fur-lined gloves and fur overcoat. After 
walking for a little while I rushed back to my apartment 
fearing that I would lose my ears. 

On New Year's Day, 1910, the senior Resident 
Commissioner, Mr. Legarda, took me to wish Happy New 
Year to President Taft, Vice-President James S. Sherman and 
Speaker Joseph G. Cannon. 

Mr. Taft, while at the head of the Philippine Government, 
was called "the friend of the Filipinos". In later years the 
feeling of my countrymen towards him changed somewhat 
because of his insistence that it would take no less than two 
generations before the Filipinos could be capable of self- 
government,- but, although I never had the opportunity 


of being close to President Taft, either while he was 
Civil Governor of the Philippines, Secretary of War, or 
President of the United States, and regardless of whether 
his conception of our capacity for self-government was right 
or wrong, in the perspective of history I am bound to affirm 
that President Taft had deservedly won that title. It is hard to 
believe now how much opposition and abuse the first Civil 
Governor (afterwards, the title was changed to Governor- 
General) received from the early American residents in the 
Philippines. Many of them doubtless remembered how 
the Southerners were dealt with after the Civil War and, 
therefore, felt that no better treatment should be given to 
the "brown brothers". Still others were told by English and 
Dutch subjects how foolish it was — and how dancjerous — to 
attempt the experiment of "shooting" democracy into the 
fabric of "Oriental" minds. These critics overlooked the fact 
that more than three hundred years before the Spaniards did 
shoot — and successfully — the Christian religion into the 
souls of the Filipinos, and that Christianity had prepared 
us for democracy since Christ's teachings were indeed the 
essence of democratic ideals and principles. 
Anyway, the fact remains that Mr. Taft, in a moment of 
unsuppressed anger, called his newspaper critics "the lions of 
the Press", and pointed out the way of escape to those who 
did not approve of the American policy — "the Philippines 
for the Filipinos." The exit through Corregidor, he asserted, 
was wide enough for every dissenter to get out. 

After the Christmas holidays, Commissioner Legarda 


introduced me to the House of Representatives and I was 
sworn in. 

My service in the House of Representatives was one of 
the most pleasant and fruitful periods of my life. No one 
can possibly imagine how much of human value there 
is to be found under the two wings of the Capitol. This 
imposing building is at once the best university and the 
nicest playhouse in the world. To the outsider, the Senators 
and Representatives may be mere politicians with only one 
purpose in mind — to satisfy the whims or promote the 
interests of their constituents. To one who has heard them 
in debate or delivering eloquent addresses,- to one who has 
conversed with them in their cloak rooms, their offices, or 
while taking meals,- to one who has been with them in formal 
affairs or on small private parties,- to one who has even taken 
part in a few more lively gatherings where some of them 
have been present,- to such a person, especially if he be a 
foreigner more inclined at first to discover faults than to 
find virtues,- to that person, I say, it is a great privilege to 
have spent amongst these legislators six of his youthful and 
inquisitive years. When I left Congress for the Philippines 
to be the first President of the first Philippine Senate, I had 
already learned many lessons in leading and handling men, 
whether as a mass or as individuals, in any walk of life. 

In the following condensed narrative of my work in Congress, 
I shall only mention the names of those who, by reason of their 
assignment to the Committees which dealt with Philippine 
affairs, took an active part in Philippine legislation. 


The War Department, from the first day of American 
occupation of the Philippine territory until after the 
enactment of the Independence Law, had charge of the 
Government of the Philippines. It was during the Taft 
administration that I had the honor of meeting the present 
Secretary of War, the Honorable Henry L. Stimson. He was 
then holding the same portfolio. From the start he gave me 
the impression that I had met a great man. The time that 
has elapsed and further official and personal association with 
him, has enhanced my admiration and affection for "my old 
man" as my wife affectionately calls Colonel Stimson. 

It was also while I was a member of Congress that I had 
the good fortune to meet Secretary of State Cordell Hull. 
He was as handsome a man as could be seen in Washington. 
Although a new member of the House, he soon won the 
respect of his colleagues by his devotion to duty, his plain 
honesty, and his unusual ability. 

I will be forgiven if I bring in the name of a man who had little 
to do with policy-making decisions or important administrative 
actions affecting the Philippines. But I mention him because I 
take pride in the fact that I discovered even then his extraordinary 
mental faculties and his inborn moral courage, although he was 
then only a young man recently graduated from Harvard. I am 
referring to Justice Felix Frankfurter whom I met in 1911 as an 
assistant to the Law Officer of the Bureau of Insular Affairs in 
the War Department. 

The most serious obstacle to the performance of my duties 
in Washington was my very limited knowledge of the English 


language. I could not even carry on a simple conversation for 
any length of time. So I decided to hire a teacher who, after 
the style of General Bandholtz, started to give me lessons 
in grammar. After diligently taking my first fifteen lessons I 
came to the conclusion that through this method it would 
take me a long time before I could deliver my first speech on 
the floor of the House of Representatives. Thereupon, I gave 
up the teacher and started to teach myself. With the aid of 
a Spanish-English dictionary I read newspapers, magazines, 
books, and more important still, I launched into the social 
world without the company of any one who could act as my 
interpreter when I needed assistance. My early experiences 
in this respect were very amusing and sometimes rather 
embarrassing. When I failed to find the word to express an 
idea and could not make myself understood with the help of 
gestures, it was my wont to supplement the sentence with 
the corresponding Spanish word. 

In May, 1910, exactly five months after my arrival in 
Washington, I delivered my maiden speech on the floor 
of the House. My colleagues listened to me not only with 
courtesy but with generosity, for there was hearty applause 
at the conclusion of the speech. I spoke in recognition of 
the benefits which we had received from the Government 
of the United States. "But despite it all," I said, "we still 
want independence. . ..Ask the bird, Sir, who is enclosed 
in a golden cage if he would prefer his cage and the care 
of his owner to the freedom of the skies and the allure of 
the forest. 


My next address to Congress took place when a 
congressional investigation was being urged by Congressman 
Martin of Colorado to determine how the Government of 
the Philippines was carrying out the policy laid down by 
Congress, that limited to 1024 acres the maximum area 
of government land that could be sold to corporations 
or individuals. This law had been enacted soon after the 
United States had taken the Philippines to prevent the 
exploitation of the Filipino people by capitalists, whether 
foreigners or natives. American capital interested in the 
sugar industry had acquired two very large tracts of land 
which the Philippine Government had bought from the friars 
with funds raised from bonds issued under the security of 
the Philippine Government. The avowed purpose in buying 
these extensive properties from the Spanish religious orders 
was to resell them in small lots to Filipino farmers, and thus 
to do away with absentee landlordism which had been the 
most serious cause of the Philippine rebellion against Spain. 
The reasons given for the sale of these lands to American 
capital by the American officials in charge of the execution 
of the congressional policy were twofold: First, that the Act 
of Congress referred only to lands of the public domain but 
not to lands acquired by the Government in some other way. 
And second, that the sale of these lands was made in order 
to establish the sugar industry in the Philippines on a truly 
grand scale under modern methods, as had been done in 
Cuba. It was further alleged that such a method would bring 
great prosperity to the Philippines. 


I spoke in support of the proposed investigation, 
contending that the establishment of the sugar industry under 
those conditions would mean the debasement of the Filipinos 
into mere peons. "Moreover," I argued, "large investments of 
American capital in the Philippines will inevitably result in the 
permanent retention of the Philippines by the United States." 
At the climax of my speech I roared: "If the preordained fate 
of my country is either to be a subject people but rich, or free 
but poor, I am unqualifiedly for the latter." 

The investigation was ordered by the House of 
Representatives, and although the sales already made were 
not annulled, no further sales were made in defiance of the 
Congressional Act. 

In the autumn of 1911 I went on a speech-making tour 
through the New England states under the auspices of the 
Anti-Imperialist League whose headquarters was in Boston. 
The chairman of the League was that distinguished lawyer 
and noble man, Mr. Moorfield Storey. As honorary vice- 
presidents of the League, there were listed some of the best 
known Americans of those days — the then undisputed 
leader of the Democratic Party, William Jennings Bryan, ex- 
President Cleveland, Representative Champ Clark., Senator 
LaFollette, and many others, including the Chief of the Army 
during the Spanish-American War, General N. A. Miles. 

The League had been organized to oppose the acquisition 
of the Philippines by the United States as being contrary to the 
principles propounded in the Declaration of Independence. 
The league feared that the American Republic would blunder 


away from its glorious history and follow the bloody and 
greedy policy of the imperialist powers. 

My speech-making trip through New England was 
naturally advertised ahead in the newspapers of those states. 
When I stepped off the train in the first city in which I was 
to give an address, I was thrilled with emotion as I saw the 
railroad station full of people to give me, as I thought, a 
rousing welcome. I was glad that on the train I had changed 
my ordinary suit for a cut-away and had put on my top hat. 
To my surprise, the people in the station remained in their 
places with their eyes fixed on the train even after I had left 
the platform. Then I realized that the crowd had not come 
to meet me, but, perhaps, some notable personage who had 
traveled from Washington in the same train with me. 

At last the train pulled me out of the station and the look 
of disappointment was evident in every face. True enough, 
those people were there to see the visiting Filipino, but they 
had expected an entirely different figure — that of the chief 
of one of the tribes exhibited at the St. Louis Fair, adorned 
with plumes on his head, trinkets on his neck, arms and legs, 
and perhaps a silk G-string. Americans learned right there 
and then that a Filipino could high-hat them. 

Another trip I want to mention was one I made to 
the city of Cleveland at the invitation of the late Justice 
Clarke. Newton D. Barker was then mayor of the city 
and he presided over the meeting. This visit gave me the 
opportunity to form a friendship which later on helped 
the Philippine cause when Mr. Baker became Secretary of 


War under President Woodrow Wilson. 

By the end of President Taft's administration, the fight 
between him and ex-President Roosevelt left no doubt in 
the minds of impartial observers as to the outcome of the 
election. President Wilson, in fact, was elected. Since 
in one of his previous writings President Wilson had said 
something not frankly in favor of our independence, I wrote 
him a letter as soon as he was elected, with a memorandum 
containing a report on conditions in the Philippines. I placed 
particular emphasis on the progress made by the Filipino 
people and the evidences they had given of their capacity 
for self-government. In his speech in Staunton, Virginia, the 
President-elect unmistakably took his stand for Philippine 



IN THE second half of President Taft's administration, 
the Democratic Party secured control of the House 
of Representatives and Mr. William Atkinson Jones of 
Virginia was made chairman of the House Committee on 
Insular Affairs. In view of the policy which the Democratic 
Party had adopted upon the acquisition of the Philippines 
by the United States — namely in favor of the granting of 
Philippine Independence — I had made it my business to 
become acquainted with Mr. Jones from the first days of my 
service in Washington. He was then the senior minority 
member of the Committee on Insular Affairs and, according 
to the prevailing practice in the House of Representatives, 
would be the chairman of the committee if and when the 
Democrats secured a majority in the House. The more I 
knew Mr. Jones, the more I felt attached to him. He treated 
me with extreme kindness which, due to the difference in 
our ages, developed into a sort of fatherly love. He believed 
strongly that continued possession of the Philippines by 
the United States would inject the virus of imperialism into 
the American body politic, as did almost all the Democrats 
both in the Senate and House,- so, also, did the progressive 
Republicans, whose influence in Congress was then 
beginning to be felt. As a matter of fact, few Republicans 


of any kind supported the Republican administration policy 
except upon the theory that the Philippine venture was of 
a temporary character as publicly announced by Presidents 
McKinley, Roosevelt and Taft. All these Presidents asserted 
in more or less the same words that the Filipino people would 
be given the right to decide whether they would prefer 
Philippine autonomy under the American flag or complete 
independence,- such question to be submitted to them for 
decision when they should have learned enough to make a 
wise one. Senator Beveridge of Indiana was perhaps one of 
the very few who bluntly advocated American imperialism as 
the road to glory power, and wealth. 

When the Democrats captured the House in 1911 after 
long successive years of defeat, I induced Mr. Jones to 
introduce in the House a bill which had formerly been 
presented by Mr. John Sharp Williams of Mississippi when 
he had been the senior minority member of the Committee 
on Insular Affairs. This bill was approved in the last session 
of the Sixty-Second Congress, but silently buried in the 
Senate, which was Republican. 

After President Wilson's inauguration, when both Houses 
of Congress had become Democratic, I renewed my efforts 
to induce Mr. Jones, who remained as the chairman of the 
Committee on Insular Affairs, to reintroduce his bill which 
had been unceremoniously killed in the preceding session 
by the Senate. But this time Mr. Jones would not move 
without first securing the approval of President Wilson. I 
began to see the difference in political procedures when 


one party was in full control of both the executive and 
legislative branches of the government, and when it only 
had a majority in one of the two Houses. Not that the 
Democratic platform on which President Wilson was elected 
was no longer committed to Philippine independence. 
Indeed it was and, as a matter of fact, I had something to 
do with the writing of the plank of the platform regarding 
Philippine independence, since I personally appeared in 
Baltimore before the Platform Committee presided over by 
Mr. Bryan. But the vocal opinion in the United States at 
that time was decidedly against Philippine independence. 
The three former Presidents — McKinley, Roosevelt, and 
Taft — had created the belief that the Filipinos would not be 
ready for a long time to be entrusted with the government 
of their own country, and with the exception of some of the 
newspapers in the southern states, the immense majority of 
publications here, whether dailies or magazines, ridiculed the 
idea of allowing the Filipinos to govern themselves. President 
Wilson himself was reluctant to recommend Congressional 
legislation, despite his speech at Staunton and the efforts of 
Mr. Bryan, then Secretary of State. It was President Wilson's 
plan to send a man in his confidence to the Philippines with 
instructions to replace, as rapidly as possible, the Americans 
in the service there with Filipinos and thus to determine, by 
trial and error, the Filipinos' capacity to administer the affairs 
of their country. 

This plan of President Wilson placed me in a somewhat 
embarrassing position. The Governor-General of the 


Philippines at the time was the Honorable W. Cameron 
Forbes from Boston, who had given me clear evidences of 
friendship while I was Provincial Governor and member 
of the Philippine Assembly. Governor Forbes happened to 
be in the United States at the time that President Wilson 
was elected, and although he was a Republican, he returned 
to his post before the President-elect had assumed office. 
President Wilson one day summoned me to the White 
House and asked my opinion as to whether a new Governor- 
General should be appointed or whether Governor-General 
Forbes should be left in his post. To a Filipino, with Oriental 
ancestry, a little Spanish blood ad mostly Spanish education 
— which was practically all that I then had — the question 
was very trying indeed. Friendship to me has a real meaning 
and personal favors are never forgotten. On the other hand, 
I had come to Washington to perform a sacred duty. 

I measured my words and gave President Wilson the 
following answer: "Mr. President, if it is your intention to 
disregard the Democratic platform and merely carry on the 
policies of the Republican Administration, then you can find 
no better man for the job than Governor- General Forbes. 
If, on the contrary, you intend to take immediate steps, 
as in my opinion you should take, to make good the now 
historic commitment of your party to grant independence 
to the Philippines as soon as possible, then Governor Forbes 
can neither be the spokesman for nor the executor of your 
policies in the Philippines." 

The President made a move to indicate that the conference 


was over. President Wilson did not have that forceful 
handshake of President Roosevelt or that spontaneous and 
contagious laugh of President Taft. Whether Mr. Wilson had 
ever laughed when conversing with other people, I do not 
know, but this time I saw on his face the suggestion of a 
smile. We never talked except on official matters. But I shall 
always remember with gratitude that, despite my youth, he 
always gave to my opinions the most serious consideration. 
Let me say, too, that I am a great admirer of President 
Wilson. I sincerely believe that had he been able to prevent 
the conclusion of an unjust treaty of peace at Versailles and 
had he secured the approval by the Senate of the United 
States of the League of Nations, there would not have arisen 
this Second World War. 

President Wilson appointed as Governor-General of the 
Philippines the Honorable Francis Burton Harrison, then 
the ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee 
of the House of Representatives. In this appointment I had 
something to say. President Wilson gave Governor Harrison 
a message addressed to the Filipino people in which the 
President outlined his Philippine policy looking definitely 
toward independence. As the first step in the execution of this 
policy, the Filipinos were given a majority in the appointed 
Upper Chamber, thus turning over to them practical control 
of the legislative department of their government. Governor- 
General Harrison took to heart the trust placed in his hands 
by his chief, and from the time of his arrival in Manila, he 
proceeded to rapidly "Filipinize" the government. 


Needless to say, the so-called American "old timers" 
raised shouts to heaven and systematically opposed every 
move of the new administration. Harrison was not spared. 
Attacks of all kinds were made against him. It took a man 
with the strong will and determination of Governor-General 
Harrison to carry out the policy which it was his duty to 
do and of which he personally approved. The antagonism 
of his own countrymen in the Philippines found support in 
the newspapers in the United States. Of course, the Filipinos 
stood by Governor Harrison. 

I believe that when cooler heads are called upon to pass 
impartial judgment on the history of Harrison's administration, 
some American historian will give him credit for the important 
contribution he made to the policy which won for the United 
States the loyally of the Filipino people. 

My work in Congress to secure legislation that would 
either grant the Philippines independence, or at least formally 
commit the United States to the policy of granting to the 
Philippines self-government, continued unabated. Three 
men in the House of Representatives were my formidable 
allies — Speaker Champ Clark, Mr. Jones, the chairman 
of the Committee on Insular Affairs, and Mr. Garrett, the 
senior member of that committee. There were also many 
others ready to help at any time. In the Senate, there were 
Vice-President Marshall, the President pro tern, Senator 
James P. Clarke of Arkansas, Senator LaFolette of Wisconsin, 
Senator John Sharp Williams of Mississippi, Senator Ashurst 
of Arizona, and, most active of all, Senator John Shafroth of 


Colorado, who took care of our Philippine Bill in the Senate 
Committee of which he was a member. Senator Hitchcock 
of Nebraska, the chairman of the committee, although 
not actively interested in Philippine independence, was 
nevertheless sympathetic to the cause. 

At long last Mr. Jones presented a bill, but not the same 
one that he had introduced in the previous Congress, which 
had become known among the Filipinos as Jones Bill No. 
1. The Democratic leadership (I think,with the previous 
approval of President Wilson) only agreed to a bill which in 
the preamble would state that it was the purpose of the United 
States to grant Philippine independence as soon as a stable 
government could be established in the Islands. The body 
of the bill, or rather its legislative provisions, would create 
at once an elective Philippine Senate which, with the right 
to confirm all appointments made by the Governor- General, 
implied, as a matter of course, the exclusion of Americans 
from holding offices as Secretaries of Departments. There 
was one exception to this, however: the Secretary of Public 
Instruction would continue to be the Vice-Governor and an 
appointee of the President of the United States. 

This bill, conservative as it was, passed only the House of 
Representatives in the first wholly Democratic Congress under 
the first Wilson administration. Long hearings in the Senate 
prevented its passage before the end of that Congress. 

When the next Congress convened, Senator Hitchcock 
got busy and reported to the Senate early in the session the 
same bill which the House had passed in the preceeding one. 


During the discussion of this bill, however, Senator Clarke of 
Arkansas introduced an amendment which gave an entirely 
different aspect to the bill. The amendment provided that 
independence would be granted to the Philippines not earlier 
than one year nor later than two years after the enactment 
of thelaw. On the personal intervention of President Wilson, 
Senator Clarke agreed to rewrite his amendment so as to 
provide that within not less than two years nor more than 
four after the enactment of the law, the Philippine Republic 
would be proclaimed and recognized by the Government 
of the United States. It was also contemplated that the 
Philippine Islands should be recognized as neutral territory, 
but the neutralization of the Philippines was not made a 
condition sine cfua non for the establishment of the Philippine 
Republic. Senator Clarke's amendment passed the Senate 
by the deciding vote of Vice-President Marshall, many 
Democratic Senators joining with the Republicans in voting 
against it. 

When the bill as thus amended was reported to the House 
of Representatives by Mr. Jones, a large group of Democratic 
members, headed by Congressman Fitzgerald of New York, 
voted with the solid Republican membership against the 
Clarke Amendment, which was thereby defeated. After this 
amendment had been stricken out of the bill, this measure 
was passed without a record vote either in the Senate or 
in the House. With the signature of President Wilson, it 
became a law and was popularly known in the Philippines as 
the Jones Act. 


I felt then that my public career had ended. There was 
no longer any doubt in my mind as to the future fate of 
the Philippines. The Congress of the United States had at 
last supplemented and strengthened the previous executive 
pronouncements — which in the language employed by 
Presidents McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, and Taft, were 
rather ambiguous — by an unequivocal declaration that "it 
was, as it has always been, the intention of the people of the 
United States to grant the Philippines their independence as 
soon as a stable government could be established therein." 

So I resigned my post as Resident Commissioner after 
duly notifying the leader of my party Speaker Osmena of 
the Philippine National Assembly, of my proposed action. I 
further advised Speaker Osmena to become a candidate for 
the Philippine Senate, as the presidency of this body which 
would have more powers than the Lower House, would 
be the proper place from which to exercise the continued 
leadership of our party. Contrary to my advice, Speaker 
Osmena decided to keep the speakership of the House 
and in that position also to remain as head of the party. In 
his cablegram, Osmena notified me that, willy-nilly, my 
candidacy to the Senate would be presented by the party 
with view to having me elected as the President of this newly 
created body. 

On the eve of my departure from Washington, my friends 
in the House of Representatives, at a farewell banquet held 
at the New Willard Hotel, presented me with a gold watch 
with this inscription: "To Manuel L. Quezon, in recognition 


of his patriotic services in the House of Representatives, 
from his friends and admirers." 

I am proud to remember the tremendous greeting which 
was given me on my arrival in Manila. Not even on the day of 
my inauguration as the first President of the Commonwealth 
were the people in the streets so wild in their demonstration. 
A typhoon was blowing in the bay my ship was detained 
and in a pouring rain the old and the young alike, including 
children, stood for hours, waiting to cheer me when I landed. 
It was nightfall before I could reach the Quezon Gate — a 
gate which, by order of the City Board of Manila, was opened 
in the wall facing the College of San Juan de Letran, my alma 
mater. The Filipino poet laureate, Fernando Maria Guerrero, 
wrote a sonnet which was inscribed on a silver hatchet 
symbolic of the hammers which destroyed the wall to open 
the gate. After the public meeting, held despite the raging 
storm, I was escorted to Malacanan Palace where, for a few 
days, I was the guest of Governor-General Harrison. Other 
public meetings and several banquets were held in my honor 
and, without making a campaign, I was elected Senator by 
unanimous vote from my district. Upon the inauguration of 
the new legislature composed of two elective houses, again 
by unanimous vote I was elected the first President of the 
Senate. President Wilson sent an appropriate message which 
was read at the ceremonies of the inauguration by Governor- 
General Harrison. 

By this time even the most intransigent Filipinos, with the 
exception of General Ricarte, who had exiled himself from 


the country, had become sincere friends and loyal supporters 
of the United States. 

Not long thereafter, the United States entered the First 
World War by the side of the Allied nations. The war 
message to Congress of President Wilson giving the reasons 
and stating the aims of the United States in declaring war 
against the Central Powers found a responsive chord in 
the hearts of the Filipino people. The whole country was 
aroused, and from the cities and countryside messages were 
sent to me to be transmitted to the President of the United 
States expressing the desire of the Filipino people to fight 
with America on the battlefields of Europe for the attainment 
of those aims. 

"Self-determination" expressed in one word the cause for 
which the Filipinos had given their lives and their all in two 
successive and unequal wars, — first against Spain and later 
against the United States. Self-determination expressed, 
too, the national ideals and aspirations of every subjugated 
race. It was then for our own cause and for our own national 
aspirations that America was unsheathing the sword and for 
the first time in her history taking active part in the bloody 
quarrels of old imperialist Europe. America's policy in the 
Philippines — its solemn pledge to grant the Filipino people 
their independence contained in the preamble of the Jones 
Act — had borne its fruit,- in the hour of national peril, 
contrary to what they had done when they were the subjects 
of the Spanish monarchy, the Filipinos asked to be allowed 
to shed their blood mingled with American blood. 


I decided to go to Washington in person and convey to 
the President of the United States the universal sentiment 
of my people. President Wilson received my message with 
unconcealed enthusiasm and in his characteristic well-chosen 
words, expressed his deep appreciation. This act of loyalty 
on the part of the Filipino people would conclusively prove to 
the statesmen of Europe the wisdom of his announced policy. 
The War Department was given instructions to help in every 
way in the organization of a Filipino Army, and meanwhile 
all the American forces were withdrawn from the Islands to 
be used elsewhere as demanded by the requirements of the 
war. Thus, for the first time since American occupation, the 
American flag was in the keeping of none but Filipinos troops 
— the Scouts and the Constabulary. It was reported that an 
America Negro in the service of an American General said 
to his master: "Boss, we are the only Americans now in the 

On my return to Manila, the Philippine Legislature enacted 
a law authorizing the creation of the National Guard, the 
body which was to be trained by American officers and then 
mustered into the Federal Army. The Philippine Legislature 
also authorized Governor Harrison to offer to the United 
States one destroyer and one submarine. 

Despite the sympathetic support of the War Department, 
for reasons unknown to us the military authorities in the 
Philippines were very slow in providing the civil government 
with the necessary help for the training and equipment of the 
National Guard. The result was that the division which we 


organized was mustered into the service of the Federal Army 
only a short time before the Armistice was signed. Thus 
we did not have the privilege of taking part, under General 
Pershing, in the First World War. 

However, even then some Filipino blood had been shed 
on the soil of France. The first Filipino who lost his life 
in that war was immortalized in our history by giving his 
name, Claudio, to the training camp of the National Guard 
— Camp Claudio. 

Because of the defeat that we recently suffered in the 
defense of the Philippines against Japanese invasion, due 
mainly to lack of air power, it is of special interest to note now 
that even after the National Guard had been demobilized, 
Governor- General Harrison, in full agreement with the 
Legislature, tried hard to keep up and give more impetus 
to Filipino aviation,- but after Governor Harrison left, our 
common efforts in this respect went to naught. It was only 
after I had become President of the Commonwealth that the 
Filipino aviation service was again revived — too late, as it 
proved to be. 

After the signing of the Armistice, and while President 
Wilson was hopelessly matching his talent against the 
European foxes, I again came to Washington at the head of 
a delegation, this time to plead for immediate independence 
for the Philippines. 

On this trip came with me, not as a member of the 
delegation but as my life partner, the woman who, for twelve 
long years, had been engaged to me. The opposition to our 


marriage of her beloved mother and my dear aunt had been 
removed by the will of God. Aunt Zeneida had joined our 
ancestors the year before. Contrary to Filipino custom which 
celebrates marriages at great expense and with pompous 
ceremonies, my bride and I were married in Hong Kong 
in our street clothes and with the attendance of only the 
members of my staff. Twenty-four years of married life with 
the same wife have proved that matrimonial happiness does 
not depend upon the noise of the wedding. Nor for that 
matter upon closing one's eyes to the sight of other beauties 
and running away from their company during the period of 
one's engagement. 

In Washington my delegation was received by Secretary 
of War Baker, representing the absent President Wilson. No 
more eloquent impromptu address have I ever listened to 
than that delivered by Secretary Baker on that memorable 
occasion. He gave us the assurance, in behalf of President 
Wilson, that at the first opportunity the President of the 
United States would recommend to Congress the enactment 
of a law that would grant the Philippines immediate and 
complete independence. After his return to Washington, 
and before the expiration of his term, President Wilson 
submitted to Congress a message recommending the granting 
of Philippine independence — a perpetual testimony to his 
abiding faith in self-determination. A hostile Congress 
turned a deaf ear to, and promptly shelved, the message of 
that great apostle of human freedom. This recommendation 
of the President, together with his League of Nations, went 


into the archives of Washington to form a part, I hope, of 
historical American documents. 

During the succeeding administrations of Presidents 
Harding and Coolidge, no progressive step was taken 
toward either greater self-government or independence for 
the Philippines. Nor that the Filipino people, through their 
Legislature, had ceased to demand independence. On the 
contrary, year after year, the Legislature approved resolutions 
asserting that a stable government had been established 
in the Islands and that it was time, in accordance with the 
declared policy of Congress, that independence be granted 
to the Philippines. I had been to Washington several times 
during those years in an effort to secure Congressional action 
in accordance with the Philippine Legislature's petitions, but 
to no avail. Of course, I had occasion to meet both President 
Harding and President Coolidge and, later on, President 
Hoover. I had known President Harding as chairman of 
the Senate Committee on the Philippines. To me he was a 
most lovable man,- so human in his acts. One day, as I was 
sitting in his office conversing with him, Attorney-General 
Daugherty entered the room and President Harding said: "I 
want the boss of Ohio to shake hands with the boss of the 

President Coolidge left no impression on me one way 
or another. He would let me talk and then he would say 
something in such a low voice that I never understood what 
he said. So when I left the White House I knew no more of 
the presidential mind than before I entered. 


I met Mr. Hoover while he was Secretary of Commerce 
and after it was publicly known that he would be a candidate 
for the presidency. My purpose, of course, was to make 
the acquaintance of the man before he was too busy as 
President of the United States, since it looked certain that 
the Republican candidate would be elected. I had read of his 
splendid relief work in Belgium and being naturally sensible 
of the sufferings of the people I had looked at Mr. Hoover 
as a man overflowing with kindness and love for his fellow- 
men. I was, therefore, disappointed when at our first meeting 
I was face to face with what seemed to me a marble statue. 
After talking to him, I received the impression that his mind 
dealt with facts and figures and that his heart took no part in 
his business. 

To succeed Governor- General Harrison, President Harding 
appointed as Governor-General of the Philippines the 
strongest Republican candidate in the primaries — General 
Leonard Wood. General Wood was of the opinion that 
Governor- General Harrison had "Filipinized" the service too 
rapidly and there were evidences that he would have turned 
the clock back, if it had been in his power to do so. He also 
disapproved of the part taken by the Philippine Government 
in acquiring or founding public utilities during Governor 
Harrison's administration. Here, too, he would have undone 
what had been done, if he could. I opposed him at every turn 
although our personal relations never ceased to be pleasant. 

For a time and at the beginning of his administration, 
General Wood had with him a very able assistant General 


Frank R. McCoy. Perhaps the complete rupture between 
General Wood and his own Filipino Cabinet, as well as with 
the Philippine Legislature, might have been avoided had not 
General McCoy left for the United States. 

It was partly due to my conviction that the Nationalist 
Party was bound to withdraw its support from the Wood 
administration, and partly to other causes which it is not 
necessary to mention here, that I forced a break with the 
leader of the party, Speaker Osmena, and after carrying the 
fight to the electorate I became the head of the party. 

I might also add that long ere this I had been trying to 
return to the practice of my profession for which I had 
always longed, but it was Speaker Osmena himself who had 
most decidedly opposed that step. 

On the death of Governor- General Wood in 1927, I made 
a trip to Washington to see President Coolidge and to secure, 
if at all possible, the appointment of a successor to Governor- 
General Wood who would not perpetuate the break between 
the Philippine Legislature and the Governor- General. 

I came to the United States with Mr. Osmena who was 
then the President pro tempore and majority floor leader of 
the Senate. I had made up my mind that the best man for the 
position of Governor- General was Colonel Stimson whom, 
as I have mentioned before, I met when he was Secretary 
of War. Colonel Stimson had been the guest of Governor- 
General Wood in Manila about the time my fight with the 
Governor was at its height. During the visit of Secretary 
Stimson, I had a conference with him and told him how our 


official relations with Governor Wood could be improved. 
Without wholly committing himself, Colonel Stimson left 
with me the impression that some of my suggestions might 
be heeded. However, after leaving Manila he wrote an 
article which was published in the United States in support 
of the administration of General Wood and in criticism of 
the Filipinos who were fighting the Governor. I answered 
the article in very measured language, and I got a letter 
from Colonel Stimson in appreciation of the courteous and 
considerate manner in which I had replied to his criticisms. 

Moreover, I had not changed the high opinion that I had 
formed of Colonel Stimson as a truly great man when he 
was Secretary of War, and I had not forgotten how he used 
to tell me, when I called at his office, that he considered 
the promotion of the welfare of the Filipino people one of 
the grave national responsibilities of the United States. He 
never pretended to be in favor of Philippine independence 
because he was anxious about the fate of the Filipino people 
once they were without the protection of the United States. 
He believed with Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Taft 
that through the natural process of evolution — intellectual, 
political, and material — the Filipino people would arrive at 
the dignified state of nationhood and self-government in 
the manner, for example, in which the people of the self- 
governing commonwealths of Great Britain have become in 
later years masters of their own destinies, without, however, 
breaking completely with the mother country. 

I might digress right here and now to give my personal 


views upon this question. Many Americans have accused me 
of being insincere in my advocacy of complete independence 
for the Philippines because on some occasions I have 
expressed myself as not unwilling to consider continued 
political relationship between the United States and the 
Philippines, including of course, free trade relations. 

It will be recalled that when the question of free trade 
relations between the United States and the Philippines 
was first submitted to the Philippine Assembly, I fought 
strongly against the proposition. But my opposition having 
been disregarded by the Congress of the United States and 
free trade relations having been established, the natural 
consequences of this trade relationship had become evident 
in the course of years: the Philippines became prosperous, 
but at the same time largely dependent upon the profitable 
market of the United States. Our standard of living was raised 
above that of other peoples of the Far East. If I could have 
both prosperity and freedom without completely breaking 
our political ties with America, I would have been a fool had 
I been opposed to them. 

The word "independence" never meant much to me except 
as a young revolutionary fighting in the hills of Pampanga 
andBataan. I had learned something since those hard days. I 
had learned that there were countries nominally independent 
but which in effect were under foreign rule,- and still others 
which had in theory as well as in fact national independence, 
but whose people knew no freedom except the freedom to 
starve, the freedom to be silent, the freedom to be jailed, 


or the freedom to be shot. None of those situations was I 
willing to see become the fate of my people. I had devoted 
my whole life to securing for them not the name or the form, 
but the substance and the essence of liberty. And the reason 
why I chose to follow and adopt the policy of the Nationalist 
Party for immediate, absolute, and complete independence 
was because I had always thought — and so think to this 
day — that it was easier to get freedom and liberty for the 
Filipino people through the road to independence which the 
average American understands than through the policy of 
Presidents Roosevelt and Taft, agreed to by Colonel Stimson, 
which, although known and practised by the English in their 
relations with their white subjects, was entirely alien to the 
American mind. 

And now back to my story. Upon reaching Washington, 
I called on President Coolidge in the company of Senor 
Osmefia and told the President how important it was, 
from the point of view of both the United States and the 
Philippines, to resume the policy of cooperation which 
had characterized the relationship between the United 
States and the Philippines and which had been temporarily 
suspended during the administration of Governor-General 
Wood. I mentioned the name of Colonel Henry L. 
Stimson as the right man for Governor- General. President 
Coolidge murmured a few words which I did not get and 
the visit was ended. 

I asked for an appointment to see Chief Justice Taft who 
graciously received Senator Osmefia and me in his library 


at his home. He was genuinely glad to see us. He spoke of 
his early days in the Philippines and inquired about certain 
persons, calling their names. It was evident that he had been 
happy during his service in the Islands. Then I told him 
of my errand. He said that he was no longer interested in 
politics and did not, as a rule, talk to the President about 
appointments,- but in this particular case, he would be willing 
to see the President and recommend the appointment of his 
former Secretary of War, Colonel Stimson, if I could convince 
the Colonel that he should accept office. 

I wrote a letter to Colonel Stimson who was then in 
New York requesting him to set a time for a visit with him. 
He answered by inviting Senator Osmena and me to an 
informal family dinner with only Mrs. Stimson and himself 
at his hotel in New York. We accepted and after dinner I 
put before Colonel Stimson the purpose of my trip. He 
would not consider it for a moment. I insisted, and after 
reminding him of his own words that the government of the 
Philippines was a grave responsibility resting on the United 
States, and after giving him assurances of my loyal support 
and cooperation, bade him good-night. He had given no 
answer to my presentation of the case, but I felt that I had 
made a dent both in his mind and in his heart,- and so I went 
back to Mr. Justice Taft and told him that I thought Colonel 
Stimson would not refuse the post if it were offered to him 
by the President of the United States. 

Fifteen days later, I read in the newspaper that the 
Honorable Henry L. Stimson had been appointed Governor- 


General of the Philippines. Unfortunately, I had to go to a 
sanatorium in Monrovia, California, sick with tuberculosis, 
and Governor- General Stimson went to the Philippines 
without my being there to lend him my personal and 
official support. But Senator Osmena had returned to the 
Philippines and temporarily acted as President of the Senate 
and leader of the party, and he conveyed to our colleagues 
my wishes that the new Governor- General be given their 
sincere cooperation and assistance. 

When I went back to Manila, after recovering from my 
illness, I found both the Governor- General and Mrs. Stimson 
extremely happy with their surroundings. Governor Stimson 
revived the Council of State, composed of the leaders of the 
Legislature and members of the Cabinet of the Governor- 
General, which Governor-General Wood had abolished. 
He initiated a policy which he expected would finally end 
in a political status whereby the Filipino people would 
be essentially free and feel satisfied to remain under the 
American flag. Hardly did he begin to try out this policy 
when the sugar interests in the United States started 
an agitation to secure legislation from Congress which 
would put a limit to the free exportation of sugar from 
the Philippines into the United States. I went to see 
the Governor in his office and told him that this was the 
beginning of the end of what he was trying to do. I said 
most emphatically to him that if the United States retained 
the Philippines under the American flag and taxed our 
products entering the United States while keeping open the 


Philippine market for the free entrance of American goods, I 
would start a revolution against the United States. 

The Governor smiled and said: "I would not blame you." 
Then taking a very solemn attitude, he exclaimed: "That 
will never be tolerated by the American people and I will 
fight it to the end." He did so and the Timberlake Bill 
went by the board. 

Upon the election of President Hoover, Governor-General 
Stimson was appointed Secretary of State and thus ended 
his short-lived administration of the Islands. I regretted his 
departure and I have a slight suspicion that he carried with 
him imperishable memories of his stay in the Philippines. 
Of course we had our disagreements, but we discussed our 
differences of opinion with perfect sincerity and frankness, 
and after the discussions were over there was never a bad 
taste in our mouths. It had been my wont after the departure 
of Governor-General Stimson to tell every one of his 
American successors, whether Governor- General or United 
States High Commissioner (after the establishment of the 
Commonwealth), that no representative of the United States 
in the Philippines had won my respect and even my personal 
affection more than did Governor-General Stimson. This, I 
added, was due to the fact that he never left me in doubt as to 
what he had in mind whenever he expressed his ideas on any 
subject. There was never any mental reservation whenever 
he talked to me, and he therefore made me feel that he gave 
me his entire confidence exactly as he would have done it 
if I had been an American sitting at his council table as the 


senior member of his official family. He and Mrs. Stimson 
treated Mrs. Quezon and me as close friends, and my wife 
used to refer to the Governor in our intimate family chats, as 
"mi viejo" (This Spanish expression literally translated means 
"my old man", but is also used to designate affectionately 
one's father.) My purpose in referring to Governor-General 
Stimson in the way I did when talking to his successors 
was not only to state the fact, but also in the hope that his 
successors would adopt the same policy in dealing with me 
and with other Filipino officials. 

After Governor-General Stimson, the next Governor- 
General was Dwight F. Davis. He remained but a short time 
in the Philippines and during most of that time I was forced 
to be away from the Islands because of ill health. All I can say 
of Governor Davis is that he was the gentleman personified 
and was well liked by Filipinos. 

I was in Washington when the appointment of the successor 
of Governor Davis was being considered by President 
Hoover. The Secretary of War, Mr. Patrick Hurley arranged 
a meeting between General Douglas MacArthur, then United 
States Chief of Staff, and Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, 
Jr., at my house in Washington. Soon thereafter the latter 
was appointed Governor- General of the Philippines. No 
American Governor- General had used the word "Mabuhay" 
— an expression of effusive greeting — did Governor- 
General Roosevelt. He, too, made friends with the Filipinos, 
but his term of office was cut short by a telegram which he 
received soon after the election of President Franklin D. 


Roosevelt accepting his resignation as Governor- General of 
the Philippines. 

During the latter part of the administration of President 
Hoover, the movement in the United States to close the 
American market to Philippine products took another turn. A 
bill granting independence to the Philippines was introduced 
in Congress. It included a provision for terminating the 
free trade relations between the United States and the 
Philippines. The Philippine Legislature sent a mission to the 
United States with Messrs. Osmena and Roxas at its head to 
appear before Congress in support of independence, but also 
with the idea of making the bill's provisions agreeable to the 
Filipino people. 

The bill as it passed both Houses in its final form was 
vetoed by President Hoover,- but Congress overrode the 
President's veto, and the bill became known as the Hare- 
Hawes-Cutting Act. In order to take effect the Act had to 
be accepted by the Philippine Legislature. 

Before the law could be submitted to the Legislature, 
President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected and 
assumed the presidency. One of his first acts affecting the 
Philippines was the appointment of the present Justice 
Frank Murphy of the Supreme Court of the United States as 
Governor- General of the Philippines. 

When Governor Murphy entered Malacanan Palace, a 
bitter political fight was going on over the acceptance of 
the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act. Messrs. Osmena and Roxas 
were for the acceptance of the law while I was leading the 


opposition on several grounds. My main objection, however, 
was to the provision of the law that called for the retention 
of military and naval establishments by the United States 
after the Philippine Republic should have been proclaimed. 
I did not object to the provision regarding the retention of 
naval stations so long as this was made dependent upon the 
consent of the Philippine Republic,- but I did strenuously and 
definitely oppose the retention of military establishments 
otherwise, for it destroyed the very essence of independent 
existence for the Philippines. 

Governor Murphy won the respect of the Filipino people 
by keeping aloof from this fight and maintaining the strictest 
neutrality. He went about his business as Governor-General 
as though there was no political storm raging around him. His 
main concern while he remained as Governor- General was 
social service, and he tried to save as much from the public 
funds as he thought couldbe done without stopping the wheels 
of government. Considering the short time that Governor 
Murphy stayed as Governor- General of the Philippines, it 
will be correct to say that during his administration he held 
more social parties of an informal character, where Filipinos 
were made to feel at home in Malacanan Palace, than any 
of his predecessors. When my political fight with Osmena 
and Roxas over the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act was over, Mrs. 
Quezon and I were frequent guests of Governor Murphy and 
his sister. 

When the Hare-Hawes-Cutting Act was submitted to the 
Philippine Legislature, it was rejected by an overwhelming 


majority. Whereupon, the Philippine Legislature sent me 
to the United States to explain to the President and the 
Congress our reasons for rejecting the law and to work for 
a new one more acceptable, or at least less objectionable, 
to us. 

In Washington, President Roosevelt received me with his 
well-known cordiality. He was kind enough to refer to the fact 
that he had met me when he was Assistant Secretary of the 
Navy in the Wilson administration. This thoughtful gesture 
on the part of the President gave me every encouragement to 
lay before him frankly and in detail the purpose of my errand. 
After paying close attention to my statement, he suggested 
that I present a memorandum in writing to him. I did so, but 
with a heavy heart. I thought that the President had imposed 
upon me the burden of writing the memorandum to be read 
by some one else and then would give me a perfunctory 
answer. After waiting for over fifteen days, I received word 
from the White House that the President would see me at 
a certain hour. I was ushered into his office where I found 
him as before, with his winning smile and gracious manner. 
To my agreeable surprise, my memorandum was on his desk 
and he proceeded to discuss every angle of the question 
submitted in the memorandum with such comprehension 
and understanding of the problems that it really astonished 
me. He was a new President and yet none of his predecessors 
knew more about the Far East and the Philippine situation 
than he did — at least as far as his predecessors had ever 
discussed those questions with me. 


President Roosevelt readily agreed that the maintenance of 
military reservations in the Philippines after the proclamation 
of the Philippine Republic would, in itself, make the granting 
of independence a farce. "After all," President Roosevelt 
added, "the American military force in the Islands is too 
small to protect the Philippines against foreign invasion, 
and after we have been in the Islands all these many years, 
it will be impossible to induce Congress to appropriate the 
necessary funds for the military defense of the Islands and the 
maintenance of an army of sufficient size to keep any enemy at 
bay." He also agreed that as far as naval stations were concerned, 
the Philippine Republic should have something to say. As to the 
trade relations between the United States and the Philippines 
during the ten-year period that the American flag would still 
remain in the Islands (to which I had also objected), the President 
promised to have further investigation made of the matter and 
recommend to Congress the correction of such inequalities and 
injustices as might be found in the law. In accordance with my 
understanding with the President, a new Independence Bill was 
introduced in Congress by Senator Tydings in the Senate and 
Congressman McDuffie in the House of Representatives. After 
I became certain that the new bill would become a law, I sought 
a conference with General Douglas MacArthur, still Chief of 
Staff of the United States Army. 

General MacArthur had been in the Philippines as a young 
officer and in later years had commanded successively a 
division and the Philippine Department. I had known General 
MacArthur for many years and a close friendship had already 


grown between us. He called me by my first name. I was fully 
informed of his comprehensive knowledge of the Philippines 
and knew of his close association with the Filipinos and his 
absolute faith in their capacity for self-government. He 
had told me also that the Filipino soldier was the match of 
any other soldier in the world. His worldwide reputation 
as a brave and brilliant general had been duly recognized 
by his own Government in placing him at the head of the 
United States Army at an early age and for a longer time 
than any other previous Chief of Staff. I needed the advice 
of a competent man on whose judgment I could depend as 
to the feasibility of adequately preparing the Philippines for 
national defense against the day when they should become 
independent. No man knew the answer to this question as 
well as General MacArthur, if he only would give it to me. 

At the appointed time, I saw General MacArthur in his 
office in the War Department. I said: "General, I have come 
to see you on a matter which concerns the very life of my 
country. If you can give a frank and complete answer to the 
question I shall propound, please give it. On the other hand 
I want no answer from you if you would have to give it with 
mental reservations, because it affects military matters." 

"What is the question?" he said. 

"Do you think that the Philippines can be defended after 
they shall have become independent ten years hence?" 

He answered: "I don't think so. I know that the Islands can 
be protected, provided, of course, that you have the money 
which will be required." 


I asked again: "How much would be needed?" 

And he answered: "With what you now spend for the 
maintenance of the Philippine Constabulary, which I 
understand is about six million pesos a year [$3,000,000], 
it will be necessary to spend ten million pesos more 
[$5,000,000] for the next ten years. "Moreover," he 
added, "the defense of the Philippines cannot rest upon 
the creation of a big regular army, for that would be too 
expensive for you. You would have to create a citizen 
army on the basis of universal compulsory service. If you 
have a small regular force as a nucleus to be expanded by 
employing the citizen army in time of peril, no nation will 
care to attack you, for the cost of the conquest will be 
more than the expected profits." 

I said, "General, one more question: Would you be willing 
to come to the Philippines and be the man to put into 
execution the ideas you have just expressed?" 

"Manuel," he said, "I have done all that I can as a soldier 
in service of my country. Unless there is another war, I do 
not see any prospect of further constructive work that I can 
do for the Government and people of the United States. 
The Philippines is my second country and there is nothing 
I would like more than to undertake the task that you are 
proposing. America has great responsibility for the future 
safety of the Filipino people. We cannot just turn around and 
leave you alone. All these many years we have helped you in 
education, sanitation, road building, and even in the practice 
of self-government. But we have done nothing in the way 


of preparing you to defend yourselves against a foreign foe. 
We have trained a few officers and a few thousand soldiers 
in the Philippine Scouts and you have created your own 
Constabulary, but this force is more of a national police than 
an army. This is the time — if it is not too late — to help you 
organize your own defense. If you can secure the consent 
of the Secretary of War and the President of the United 
States to my assignment as Military Adviser of the Philippine 
Commonwealth, I shall consider the assignment as a fitting 
end to my military career." 

I replied: "General, I shall proceed at once to secure the 
consent of the Secretary of War and the President of the 
United States, with the understanding of course that this plan 
will be carried out if I am elected President of the Philippine 

The office of the Chief of Staff is connected with the office 
of the Secretary of War by a side door. General MacArthur 
peeped into the office of Secretary Dern and upon finding 
the Secretary alone, he motioned me to go in. I told the 
Secretary what I had in mind and he told me to see the 
President about it. President Roosevelt approved of the plan, 
using his influence to have an amendment made to a then 
existing law which permitted the Government of the United 
States to send military commissions to the South American 
republics upon their request. The amendment included the 
Philippines within the scope of the law. 

Presently the new Independence Act was approved 
by Congress and after its approval I went back to the 


Philippines to secure its acceptance by the Philippine 
Legislature. This was done by the unanimous vote of 
both Houses,- whereupon the Independence Act became 
a solemn pact entered into between the Government and 
people of the United States on the one hand and the 
Government and people of the Philippines on the other, 
whereby it was agreed that on the 4th of July, 1946, the 
Philippines should become an independent republic. In 
the meantime, there was to be established the Government 
of the Commonwealth, with a contribution of its own, 
framed and adopted by a constitutional convention elected 
by the voters of the Philippines. The Constitution, once 
approved by the President of the United States, was to be 
submitted to a plebiscite of the people for their approval 
or rejection. 

In accordance with the Independence Act, popularly 
known in the Philippines as the Tydings-McDuffie Law, a 
constitutional convention was elected which sat in the city 
of Manila and did, in my opinion, most creditable work. 
Although in its main features, the Philippine Constitution was 
practically a copy of the Constitution of the United States, it 
contained new provisions to meet the social problems of our 
day which did not exist when the fathers of the American 
Republic drew up their own constitution. It also contained 
the clause in the famous Kellogg Pact that the Philippines 
renounced war. 

Upon the approval of the Philippine Constitution by the 
constitutional convention, Governor- General Murphy, with 


a strong favorable recommendation, sent it to Washington 
for submission to the President of the United States as 
directed by the Independence Act. President Roosevelt gave 
his assent to the Constitution and thereafter it was submitted 
to a plebiscite of the Filipino people who, by practically 
unanimous vote, made the Constitution the fundamental law 
of the land. 



FTER THE general elections for the Legislature 
which preceded the election of the members 
of the constitutional convention, the breach in 
the rank and file of the Nationalist Party caused 

by the political feud between Osmefia and Roxas and their 
followers on one side, and my followers and me on the 
other, was entirely healed. In the general elections, my side 
won an overwhelming majority, and after our victory we 
invited our former comrades to join hands with us again so 
as jointly to give the best there was in the Filipino nation 
for the writing of their Constitution, and thereafter for the 
discharge of the grave responsibilities that the Government 
of the Commonwealth was to impose upon us. Thus when 
the elections for the officials of the Commonwealth were 
held, the Nationalist Party again reunited had as its standard 
bearers myself for President and Sergio Osmena for Vice- 
President. Out in the field to oppose me were my former 
chief, General Emilio Aguinaldo, and also Bishop Gregorio 
Aglipay of the Philippine Independent Church. After a 
campaign during which I made only a couple of speeches over 
the radio, the Quezon-Osmena ticket came out victorious 
with overwhelming majorities. 

As soon as the results of the elections were officially known, 


I cabled General MacArthur, who was still the Chief of Staff 
of the United States Army, to come to the Philippines as soon 
as possible in accordance with our understanding. General 
MacArthur came accompanied by a staff selected by him, 
arriving at Manila some time before the inauguration of the 
Commonwealth. He at once reported to me and submitted 
his whole plan for the national defense of the Philippines. 
He had already prepared a draft of the message that I was 
to submit to the new one-chamber Philippine Legislature as 
provided in the Constitution — the National Assembly — as 
well as the draft of a bill which would translate into legislative 
provisions his plan for our national defense. I asked him to 
leave his papers in my possession so that I might carefully 
study them. This I proceeded to do immediately, and after 
making certain amendments to the suggested message as 
well as to the proposed bill, I returned the papers to General 
MacArthur so that they might be written out in final form. 

I invited the members-elect of the National Assembly to 
come to Manila some time before the day of the inauguration 
of the new government. I held several conferences with 
them during which I explained General MacArthur's plan, 
and after prolonged discussions, we finally agreed to approve 
the National Defense Act as the No. 1 Law of the Philippine 

President Roosevelt sent his Secretary of War, the 
Honorable George H. Dern, to represent him at the 
inauguration of the Government of the Commonwealth. A 
distinguished delegation of both the Senate and the House 


of Representatives, each headed by their respective presiding 
officers, Vice-President Garner and Speaker Byrns — also 
came to the Philippines to add solemnity to the greatest 
historic event in the life of the Filipino people from time 

On a beautiful morning, November 15, 1934, I left my 
house in Pasay by the shores of the Bay of Manila and rode 
with military escorts through streets decorated with American 
and Filipino flags, under artistic and symbolic arches, to the 
legislative building where the inaugural ceremonies were 
to take place. Hundreds of thousands of people had come 
to Manila from far and wide to witness the elevation to the 
highest office in the land of the first Filipino who would 
occupy the seat of power, for centuries past occupied by 
Spaniards and by Americans. On a grandstand built for the 
occasion were the highest officials of the Government of 
the United States, save only the President himself, and all 
the high dignitaries of the Government of the Philippines 
including the Chief Justice and members of the Supreme 
Court, the Secretaries of Departments, and the newly elected 
members of the National Assembly. There were also present 
my Military Adviser, General MacArthur, the Commanding 
General of the Philippine Department with his staff, and the 
Commander of the Cavite Naval Station accompanied by 
other ranking officials of the United States Navy. The last to 
enter the grandstand were Secretary Dern as representative 
of the President of the United States, Governor-General 
Murphy, and I. Secretary Dern read a message from 


President Roosevelt to the Filipino people and the president 
proclamation declaring officially the establishment of the 
Government of the Commonwealth. Governor-General 
Murphy read his farewell address as Governor- General, after 
which I took the oath of office before Chief Justice Ramon 
Avancena of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and then 
delivered my inaugural address. 

From the grandstand, I went through streets crowded 
with people acclaiming their first President, on to the Palace 
of Malacafian, the great mansion on the bank of the Pasig 
River which had been the seat of power of foreign rulers for 
many decades past. As I stepped out of the presidential car 
and walked over the marble floor of the entrance hall, and 
up the wide stairway, I remembered the legend of the mother 
of Rizal, the great Filipino martyr and hero, who went up 
those stairs on her knees to seek executive clemency from 
the cruel Spanish Governor- General Polavieja, that would 
save her son's life. This story had something to do with my 
reluctance to believe that capital punishment should ever be 
carried out. As a matter of fact, during my presidency, no 
man ever went to the electric chair. At the last moment I 
always stayed the hand of the executioner. 

From the top of the stairs, turning to the right, one saw the 
very large reception hall, at the end of which on either side 
of the hall and fronting each other, there were two rooms 
which reminded me of my first visit to the palace in 1 90 1 . 

In the room on the right side of the hall, there stood at that 
time General Arthur MacArthur, then Military Governor of 


the Philippines, and on the left, there was the room where 
Aguinaldo was kept as prisoner of war. The first thought 
which came to me was that I had been right in placing my 
faith in America, for by cooperating with her my people had 
won their local autonomy and were on the road to complete 

These thoughts were suddenly interrupted by my aide-de- 
camp who informed me that in the executive office there were 
waiting for me the general who was Chief of the Constabulary, 
and the provincial governors of Tayabas and Laguna, whom I 
had summoned to my first official conference. 

The night of the inauguration there was a reception and 
ball in Malacafian Palace in honor of the American officials 
, Secretary Dern, Vice-President Garner, the Speaker of the 
House of Representatives, and the Senators and Congressmen 
who constituted the Congressional Delegation. That same 
night, from every home in the Philippines, whether of 
the poor or of the rich, a prayer went to heaven for the 
continued greatness of America and the future safety of the 



(Note: The following chapter has been prepared by former Governor- 
General Francis Burton Harrison, who was adviser to the late President 
Quezon. At President Quezon's request Mr. Harrison kept careful notes 
of the former's expressed views on the subjects involved in this chapter.) 

EXECUTIVE LIFE was a great change for me 
after more than twenty-five years of continuous 
service as a legislator. For the first six months of 
my presidency I kept intact the Cabinet which I 
inherited from Governor-General Murphy,- I knew them all 
intimately and had for years been working with them on the 
Council of State. 

I was determined to give the Philippines the finest 
government they had ever had. I had one great advantage 
over my American predecessors as Chief Executive: I really 
understood my own people. In addressing audiences in the 
provinces I kept telling them: "Now, I am not an American 
Governor- General-I'm a Filipino, so tell me the truth." I 
knew all about the racketeers in the service and determined 
to get rid of them. From the very beginning the plain people 
responded heartily to my appeals, for was I not their leader? 
I myself was one of them. I had started life as a poor village 


boy and had never accumulated any fortune. 

On the other hand, I was somewhat oppressed at first by 
the new duties as an executive. For the past thirty years I 
had been mostly in legislative life, and I hated to be tied 
down to executive office hours and other restrictions. I had 
made a great many speeches in the Senate and now I was 
going in for action — not talk. From the point of view of the 
Executive chair I began to see more clearly the difficulties of 
putting into effect some of the measures I had championed so 
ardently in the Senate. Nevertheless, I was determined with 
all my heart and strength in the three years' time I should 
have a model government in the Philippines. 

The first matter of great importance before us was, of 
course, the creation of the Philippine Army. How deeply I 
regretted that the Philippine National Guard which we had 
organized in 1917-1918 to help the United States during 
the war had been abolished. In that, we had already had 
the nucleus for an army, including the rudiments of an Air 
Corps. But now we had to start again from scratch. This was 
the subject of my first message to the National Assembly, 
and the bill was signed and became a law on December 21, 
1935. Later, the first general officers appointed were Paulino 
Santos as Chief of Staff and Generals Reyes, Basilio Valdes, 
and Vicente Lim. Recruiting for the new army was soon is 
full swing. 

In the provinces around Manila public order was, at 
that time, in a somewhat unsatisfactory condition. General 
Aguinaldo, who had been an unsuccessful candidate against 


me for the presidency, was now a source of some uneasiness 
to the American Army officers in their garrison. But I thought 
I knew Aguinaldo better than they did. In the course of a few 
months his followers had entirely quieted down. 

Banditry in the mountains at the other end of Laguna 
de Bay was still active and the Sakdalistas in the near-by 
provinces were still restless. I seized both of these problems 
quickly and with great vigor and soon settled them to the 
general satisfaction and without further bloodshed. This 
was possible because I was a Filipino and understood the 
psychology of those people and how best to handle them. 

The truth was that when I took over the Executive power there 
was still an economic depression in the provinces — as, for that 
matter, there had been in the United States. Wages in near-by 
regions had fallen a sixty centavos a day and in the Ilocos regions 
to the north to even forty centavos. Of course, the people were 
restless. Eventually, I secured from the Assembly a minimum 
wage law fixing the rate at not less than one peso a day in the 
country districts and one peso twenty-five in the municipalities. 
The disquiet in the provinces had been chiefly on the part of the 
farm laborers, and it must be remembered that the Philippines 
are still mainly an agrarian country. The grievances of the farm 
laborers were due not only to the miserable pittance they were 
receiving as a money wage, but also to the large landholdings 
created in much earlier times which were so managed that those 
who had cleared the land and worked their small fields could 
get no title to their lands. Many of the largest haciendas were still 
owned by church corporations as in the stories of Rizal. The 


remedy proposed and partly carried out by Mr. Taft, known as 
the Friar Land Purchases, had not worked out as intended. The 
lands thus purchased by the Philippine Government and meant 
to be sold to the tenants seldom got into the ownership of those 
who had worked them and lived on them. Besides, this was a 
method which proved extremely expensive to the Government. 
I preferred and advocated the system which had been applied 
to settle the land troubles in Ireland by Mr. Gladstone, known 
as the "three Fs": fixed rental, fixity of tenure, and freedom to 
convey, with land commissioners to administer the law. The 
Philippine Government was still struggling with this question 
so fraught with danger for the future. 

In another reform I made great progress. This was in 
wiping out the tribal particularism which had existed in 
the Philippines for so many centuries. In frequent visits to 
the provinces, especially those far distant from Manila, I 
addressed large audiences and rallied them to the knowledge 
that we were all, first and foremost, Filipinos, and that at 
least they had their own government. 

In the southern provinces, the most important question 
of all was the future of Mindanao, our second largest island, 
which for ages past and until recently had been under the 
control of the Moros. They had never been subdued by the 
Spanish and were never disarmed by them. Even up to the 
time of my childhood, they used to raid the northern islands 
for slaves and plunder. But the cry, "Hay Moros en la costa" 
("There are Moros on the coast"), has not been heard in the 
rest of the Philippine Islands for now at least a half century. 


The American Army officers used alternately to fight the 
Moros and then to "baby" them. The Moros are very artful 
and seldom agreed to any proposition made to them on the 
part of the Government except with feigned reluctance, and 
only in a manner calculated to put the Executive under an 
obligation. I felt that this method on their part was mostly 
bluff, and I now addressed them on various occasions with 
straight-from-the-shoulder declarations. This new method 
of handling them seemed to work excellently. The Moros 
are good farmers and fishermen, but theirs has been a dark 
and bloody chapter of history, and we were glad to see them 
at length gradually setting into modern ways. 

Aside, however, from the matter of public order, there 
existed an international aspect of the Mindanao question, of 
profound importance to the Filipino nation. Unless we fully 
opened up, protected and settled, and thus made use of this 
great, rich, only partly developed island, some other nation 
might some day try to move in and make it their own. For 
the past twenty years, continued and successful efforts to 
colonize Mindanao from the north have been undertaken. 
The modern Filipino is not afraid of his kinsmen, the Moros. 
Settlers from the north in great numbers have poured into 
the rich valley of the Cotabato. I asked General Paulino 
Santos to take charge of the new colony at Coronadal near 
Davao, which he did with conspicuous success. Secretary 
Rafael Alunan in the Cabinet was given supervision over 
all colonization affairs. Many members of the Assembly 
accompanied me on the S.S. Negros down to Davao to see 


the new enterprise and became very enthusiastic over the 
prospects. I felt very strongly that every man who could own 
his own land would be contented and never became a prey to 
the teachings of Communism. But these colonizations were 
very expensive for the Government and, at best, only partly 
met the issue. I was convinced that transportation and access 
were the key to full solution of this problem, so during my 
administration I pushed the opening of modern roads across 
Mindanao, and Filipinos from the north took advantage of 
these opportunities. The Government supplied 60 per cent of 
the necessary capital for the subsidizing of new and modern 
steamers plying to the Visayas and Mindanao from Manila. 
I advocated the building of a railway, to be run by electric 
power from the magnificent Cristina Falls in Lanao, across 
the island, with feeder highways at selected points. 

Another settlement for which one hundred thousand 
hectares of land was set aside was opened in the province of 
Isabela. The Ilocanos, who had requested the opening of this 
new settlement began to settle here in great numbers, taking 
advantage of these immensely rich lands in Isabela. 

Duringthe firstyearof my administration I was continuously 
busy with the reorganization of the bureaus of government, 
cutting down and consolidating the overlapping offices 
which encrusted them and which had gradually grown up 
and deranged the administration by their eager competition 
with one another. 

Of great importance, in my opinion, was the selection 
of judges to fill vacancies and to sit upon the new Court of 


Appeals. I was determined to make no unfit appointments 
and even to drop those judges who had proved themselves 
unworthy in the past. Favoritism was to play no part in my 
selections for the bench — nor did it. My test for a Justice 
of the Supreme Court was not only integrity but also his 
modernity of view: Was he a man capable of interpreting the 
spirit of the new Constitution as well as the letter of the law? 
Was he a jurist and not merely legalistic? I quizzed each one 
of the remaining Supreme Court Justices in turn to ascertain 
whether they placed other human rights on an equality with 
the right of property. Those who sought by themselves, or 
with political pull, an appointment to the Supreme Court 
or to the new Court of Appeals were, in my view, utterly 
undesirable for such a post. 

As for incompetency or graft in the service, I was quite 
ruthless. During the first quarter of the year 1936, my 
administration collected two million pesos more from the 
existing tax laws than had my immediate predecessors. 
I advocated an inheritance tax law and an increase in the 
income tax in the higher brackets. My motto in all these 
matters was progressive conservatism. 

In educational matters I promoted the growth and welfare of 
the University of the Philippines, and blocked an attempt of the 
Church to impose religious instruction in the public schools. 

On one, perhaps minor, point, I encountered considerable 
criticism. This was in the many improvements and additions 
I made in the Executive Mansion, known as the Malacafian 
Palace. I have always had a strong creative urge in the 


matter of public buildings, but in this case I knew that the 
Filipinos would regard the improvement and adornment 
of the Executive Mansion as a matter of national prestige. 
Moreover, these public works were not done for my own 
comfort and personal enhancement and that of my family, 
for we spent actually far less time in Malacanan than had my 
predecessors as Chief Executive, since I was so constantly on 
the move in the provinces. I really had in mind an effort to 
block the original "Burnham Plan" for moving the Executive 
Mansion, which in itself would have been very costly, and, 
in my opinion, nothing could really replace this old palace 
with its historic associations. It may also be added that in the 
new city named after me, some ten kilometers to the north 
of Manila, I had constructed by the Government hundreds 
of houses for the working people. These dwellings with all 
the comforts of sanitation and with playgrounds near-by for 
children were occupied at a nominal rental by the former 
dwellers in the insanitary barrio of Tondo. 

After six months of planning and consultation my new 
administration was formed and the Philippine Commonwealth 
was fully launched upon its career. 


FOR THE purpose of securing action that would 
remedy the "injustices and inequalities" in the 
trade relations between the United States and the 
Philippines as provided in the Independence Act and 
also promised by President Roosevelt, I came to Washington 
in 1937. 

It was likewise my purpose to present to the American 
people in its true light, the nature and objective of my policy 
of national defense which had been the subject of the most 
unfair and malicious attack from certain quarters in the 
United States. At the same time, I wanted to obtain more 
enthusiastic support from the War Department. For these 
reasons, I brought with me my Military Adviser, General 
Douglas MacArthur. 

On my way to America, I passed through China 
and Japan and was entertained, while in those countries, by 
government officials as well as by private persons and civic 
organizations. The Mayor of Greater Shanghai, General 
Cheng, gave a reception in my honor and in the name of 
his Government delivered to me a decoration given only to 
heads of states, which I accepted with the understanding that 


the constitutional requirements under the laws of the United 
States and of the Philippines would later be complied with. 

I had met General Cheng many years before, when he 
was an aide-de-camp to Dr. Sun Yat-sen, on the occasion of 
my visit to the Father of New China in his home in Canton. 
It was a visit I could never forget. That wonderful patriot 
had explained to me at length his vast plans of political and 
material development for his beloved fatherland. Old Dr. — , 
ex-Minister from China to Washington, was present at the 
luncheon which was presided over by charming Madame 
Sun Yat-sen. The old diplomat assured me he would live 
a hundred and twenty-five years, when he objected to my 
offer to help him up the innumerable stairs that we had to 
climb to reach the living rooms of Dr. Sun Yat-sen. 

After the reception of the Mayor, General Cheng, Mrs. 
Quezon and I were guests at dinner given by Dr. and 
Madame Kung. Dr. Kung is a descendant in direct line from 
Confucius and was, even then, one of the most influential 
officials in the Chinese Government. Madame King, sister to 
Mesdames Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek would, in my 
opinion, grace any throne whether European or Oriental. 

In Japan, Ambassador Grew honored me with an afternoon 
tea and a reception. While the party was going on, I was 
handed an envelope from the Foreign Office containing a 
copy of the speech which the Japanese Minister for Foreign 
Affairs was to deliver at the banquet he was giving in my 
honor that night, to which Ambassador Grew and General 
MacArthur had been invited. There was also note in the 


envelope wherein I was requested to send a copy of my 
response to the toast. Since I had intended to say nothing 
more than a few pleasant words on this occasion, I did not 
have any written speech. I was, therefore, compelled to 
abandon the most pleasant occupation of dancing, in which 
I was engaged, and dictate a formal address. 

I noticed that in his toast the Foreign Minister had 
completely ignored the United States while he stressed the 
need of closer cooperation between Japan and the Philippines. 
I made it a point, therefore, to avow our eternal gratitude to 
the United States for the unselfish policy pursued in all her 
relations with the Philippines. I started further that it was our 
desire to maintain the friendliest kind of relationship with 
Japan, as indeed it was,- that this was also our aim in dealing 
with all foreign countries,- but that in the case of America, we 
were bound to give her special considerations as we would 
owe to her our having become a member of the sisterhood 
of independent nations. Among those present at the banquet 
was the Prime Minister himself, Prince Konoye. 

In the course of the evening, the Foreign Minister expressed 
his desire to have a visit from me at his office the following 
day, to which, of course, I readily agreed. At our conference, 
he expressed the appreciation of his Government for the far 
treatment I was giving to the Japanese residing in or doing 
business in the Islands. I assured him that it was fixed policy 
of the Filipino people to deal justly with every other people 
in the world,- that we were bent on making friends and not 


"Is it definitely settled," he asked, "that the Philippines 
will be granted independence by the United States?" 

"Of course," I replied. "On the 4th of July 1946, the 
Philippine Republic will be proclaimed by the Government 
of the United States as a separate and independent state." 

"But many Americans believe," he retorted, "that Japan will 
take the Philippines once you are free, and these Americans, 
plus many others who are imperialists at heart, object, even 
now, to the independence of the Philippines." 

I agreed with that view, adding that among the Filipinos 
there were also a few who feared independence because 
they thought that ultimately it would only mean a change of 
sovereignty — to that of Japan instead of the United States. 

His Excellency gave me the typical smile of a Japanese 
diplomat and said: "Mr. President, you may tell your 
people — you may even assure President Roosevelt when you 
see him — that Japan will gladly be a signatory to a treaty 
that will recognize the Philippines as a neutral territory once 
it shall have become independent. . ..Japan," he continued, 
"has no aggressive intentions towards the Philippines. All we 
want is your trade — to buy your products and to sell you our 

I expressed to him the hope that Japan and the Philippines 
would always be on good terms. As to trade relations, I saw 
no objection to his ideas. 

"But you must realize, Mr. Minister," I said, again repeating 
what I started the night before, "that the Philippines owe 
much to the United States and we are bound to give her 


special considerations if she should want them, so long as 
her wishes do not conflict with our national interests." 

"I understand, of course, your position," he remarked. 

I stood up to leave. 

"By the way, I take it that you are informed of the 
impending change in the Government. To-morrow I shall 
cease to be the Foreign Minister, but Japan's foreign policy 
remains unaltered despite changes in the personnel of the 
Government." These were his last words. 

We shook hands and he accompanied me to the door. 

On the following day, His Imperial Majesty had me as 
guest at luncheon in the Imperial Palace. The other guests 
were Ambassador Grew, the Emperor's brother, and the 
Minister of the Household. After luncheon, His Majesty 
conversed with me through an interpreter. Whether by 
design or by accident, Ambassador Grew was so placed that 
his bad ear was toward us, while his better ear had to listen 
to the continuous talk of the Emperor's brother. 

The seating arrangement of the guest aroused my suspicion 
and, I bet it did Ambassador Grew's, too. But the Ambassador 
was helpless. If there was going to be a conspiracy against 
the United States between the Emperor of Japan and the 
President of the Philippines, the American Ambassador, 
whose duty was to protect American interests, would have 
been an innocent witness of the proceedings. 

The conspiracy, however, did not take place. It was not 
even attempted, at least so it seemed to me. Emperor Hirohito 
thanked me for my good treatment of his subjects,- told me 


that he had heard of the beauty of my country,- asked me how 
many times I had visited Japan, and whether I had enjoyed 
my visits. I gave the appropriate answer to each question, 
and as we walked backwards bowing three times, we finally 
stepped out from the presence of the Son of Heaven. 

Upon my arrival in America, I learned that my visit to 
Japan had been widely and diversely commented upon 
in the newspaper. I was misrepresented as having entered 
into negotiations with the Japanese Government, with the 
suggestion between the lines that the negotiations were 
more or less of a treacherous character. 

It was incorrectly stated that on the occasion of my visit 
to Japan, there had been a great demonstration of armed 
force at a ceremony in my honor and that as a result of 
my conviction that Japan was unbeatable from the West, I 
returned to my country convinced that my people would 
have to make some special terms with the Japanese in order 
to avoid being attacked or dominated. The fact is that there 
never was any such demonstration of armed might in my 
honor or while I was there, and while I was in general aware 
of the Japanese military strength, I never thought that she 
was unbeatable from the West. 

While I was in Japan, I stated in public addresses that it 
was our desire to be on good and friendly terms with Japan 
and with all the countries of the world, but that our special 
aim would be to maintain very close association with the 
United States even after the termination of any political ties 
between the two countries. 


General MacArthur was present on one of these occasions 
and congratulated me on my address. When war broke out 
in Europe in 1939, I assured President Roosevelt that if the 
United States should become involved in the conflict the 
Filipino people would fight by her side to the bitter end. 


N MONDAY, the 8th of December (in the 
Far East), between five and six o'clock in the 
morning, my valet woke me up in my home in 
Baguio and said that Secretary to the President 

Vargas (Jorge B. Vargas) was calling from Manila over the 
long-distance telephone and insisted that he had to talk to 
me on a most grave and urgent matter. I felt in my bones 
that war between the United States and Japan had broken 
out. Nothing of less importance would have made Secretary 
Vargas feel justified in disturbing my sleep, for he knew I was 
in Baguio to recover from illness. 

I took the telephone by the side of my bed and said: 
"George, what is on?" 

"Mr. President," came the answer, "Pearl Harbor has been 
bombed by the Japanese and war has been declared." 

"George, you are crazy," I retorted. "War may have been 
declared but the Japanese would never dare attack Hawaii! 
You are joking,- Pearl Harbor is the best defended naval 
station in the world. Where did you get that nonsense?" 

"Both the United and Associated Press have telephoned 
me, and General MacArthur has confirmed the report," he 


"Do you know what has happened?" I asked. 

"Nothing definite, but it seems that the surprise attack has 
had disastrous effect." 

"Tell General MacArthur that I am coming down to Manila 
to-day and tell Colonel Nieto [my senior aide-de-camp] to 
rush up to Baguio immediately. Keep me constantly informed 
of everything." 

"Yes, sir," answered Secretary Vargas and I hung up. 

Baguio was the summer capital of the Philippines. Located 
there is what is called "The Mansion House," a modern 
building built and rebuilt by American Governors-General. 
It is on the top of a hill and the views from the Mansion 
are wonderful. A park with pine trees, flower gardens, ample 
lawns, a few fountains, an artificial lake, a tennis court 
and bridle paths form the beautiful grounds, in the center 
of which stands the summer Executive Mansion. I seldom 
stayed in this official residence. Mrs. Quezon in 1930 had 
built a house in Baguio, and year by year she gradually made 
of it a comfortable and attractive home. It is located on one 
of the nicest sites overlooking the city and the Burnham Park. 
The greatest attraction to Mrs. Quezon about our house was 
the modest imitation of the Grotto of Lourdes built inside the 
grounds. It took me a full month to convince Mrs. Quezon that 
she should leave our home in Pasay, outside Manila, for the 
historic Palace of Malacanan in Manila,- but I never succeeded 
in making her go and live at the Mansion House in Baguio. 

So when Vargas telephoned me I was with my younger 
daughter, Zeneida, spending a few days at our private house. 


After the telephone conversation, I couldn't go back to 
sleep. For several months, I had been almost certain that war 
with Japan was inevitable in view of the positive stand taken 
by the United States vis-a-vis the so-called "China Incident" 
and the announced Greater East Asia policy of Japan. Indeed, 
I feared that war was an early probability when, upon the 
departure of Ambassador Nomura, Foreign Minister Matsuoka 
made a speech before the Japan-American Policy Association 
which could only be interpreted to mean that if America did 
not recede from her stand on the pending question, Japan 
would resort to war between the two governments. Matsuoka 
spoke no longer of merely the Greater East Asia policy,- he 
spoke also of the co-prosperity sphere which, ambiguous as it 
may read to the uninformed, was plain enough to those who 
watched with open eyes Japan's expansionist moves. It was 
a positive assertion on the part of Japan that she would not 
tolerate Dutch restrictions of the amount of oil she might 
want to purchase from the East Indies — nor, for that matter, 
would Japan recognize anybody's right to deprive her of a 
pound of tin or rubber of tin which she might desire. As it 
seemed to me, the co-prosperity sphere — after the Japanese 
incursions into, and seizure of, much Chinese territory — and 
the reference to the Southern Pacific, meant this much: that 
the Tanaka plan for the military expansion of Japan by land 
was being carried out and was about to be supplemented 
with the navy plan covering the conquest of the innumerable 
islands, large and small, in the Southwestern Pacific. 

Whether Japan would have gone to war with the United 


States on all and every one of the above-mentioned issues, 
it is not important to discuss now. All I want to say is that 
in the appointment of Ambassador Nomura, I saw the last 
peaceful gesture of Japan in her diplomatic negotiation with 
the United States. In fact Matsuoka's speech said as much 
when it was stripped of its verbiage. 

There was, however, a questioning my mind that I could 
not satisfactorily answer. How could Japan fight America, 
potentially the strongest nation on earth? Japan, already 
poor in material resources, had been weakened by her war 
on China, according to the generally accepted view. Of one 
thing, though, I was certain. If Japan decided to go to war she 
would attack the United States without previous declaration 
of war. Such had been her policy when fighting any first-class 
power. Hence my insistence on preparing the Philippines for 
every eventuality as soon as I saw signs of what might come. 
But while I expected the surprise attack, it never occurred to 
me that Pearl Harbor would be the chosen target. 

Therefore, the news from Vargas simply dumbfounded 
me. I saw at once that Japan was fully prepared for war to a 
degree that not even the experts had suspected. The gravest 
situation was confronting the Philippines. 

Even so, it was not until I learned of the report of Secretary 
Knox, after his visit to Pearl Harbor, that I began to fear that 
no help could come to us in the Philippines from the United 
States. Secretary Knox's report, as given out, contained only 
very general information, but it was sufficient to make me 
reach this conclusion. 


Before seven o'clock, my valet came again to my bedroom. 
A woman reporter from the Philippine Herald wanted a 
statement from me. I took a pen and a piece of paper and 
wrote these words: 

"The zero hour has arrived. I expect every Filipino — man 
and woman — to do his duty. We have pledged our honor to 
stand to the last by the United States and we shall not fail 
her, happen what may." 

Then I called over the long-distance telephone to my wife 
who, as usual, was at our rice farm in Arayat, busy making 
of it a sort model farm and, at the same time, a profitable 
investment. With my wife were my two other children- 
Maria (Baby), my elder daughter, and Manuel, Jr. (Nonong), 
my only boy. 

I gave my wife the bad news and advised her not to worry 
about it for everything would come out well in the end. I 
told her also that I was driving down that night to take her 
and the children to Manila with me. 

After this conversation, I went down to have my breakfast. 
Major Speth, a retired American officer whom I had appointed 
Vice Mayor of the City of Baguio, and Mr. Sylvester, the 
American engineer who succeeded Mr. A. D. Williams in 
the Civilian Relief Administration, were in the living room 
waiting for me. I had sent for Mr. Sylvester the day before 
to come up from Manila to study the safety of the air-raid 
shelters that were being built in Baguio. At the breakfast table 
was my daughter Zeneida. I greeted her with the news that 
Pearl Harbor had been attacked by the Japanese. "Daddy, 


how dare those Japs. . .!" she exclaimed. 

The drone of airplanes was heard overhead. I asked Mr. 
Sylvester to go out to the porch and see whether those 
planes were ours, or of the enemy. He came back with the 
heartening news that they were American bombers. "Let us 
see them," my daughter suggested, and we followed her to 
the porch. 

Ten thousand feet high in the air were flying seventeen 
planes in V formation. Before we could express our joy, we 
heard the explosion of bombs. 

"Sylvester, how could you have mistaken those for 
American bombers?" I shouted. My chauffeur entered the 
porch carrying in his hand two bomb parts that dropped in 
front of my house when the bombers passed over it. Fifteen 
minutes later, Major Speth's chauffeur, stained with blood, 
reported to us that he had taken some people from Camp 
John Hay to the hospital. War had reached the Philippines! 

I had Secretary Vargas called immediately to the telephone 
and I told him to inform General MacArthur that Camp John 
Hay had been bombed. 

"Summon a meeting of the Council of State* for tomorrow 
at 9:00 A.M.," I ordered. 

*The Council of State is the highest advisory council of the Chief 
Executive of the Philippines. It had been created by Governor-General 
Harrison. It came to an end during the administration of Governor- 
General Wood. It was revived by Governor- General Stimson, and 1 gave 
it more importance after my assumption of the presidency. 


After talking to Vargas, the Mayor of the City of Baguio, 
Mr. Valderosa, a Filipino, came to receive instruction if I had 
any to give. 

"Just tell the people to be calm and follow the instructions 
previously given in case of air raids," I said. 

Hardly was I through conversing with the Mayor when 
more bomb explosions shook my house. These time bombs 
had fallen outside Camp John Hay, not half a mile from my 
place. The house of a Filipino was wrecked and the owner's 
head blown off. 

Major Speth then approached me and suggested that we 
go out of the house to a less exposed place. We went to the 
other side of the road where there was a pine forest and sat 
down under its cover. Once again, we saw at a distance the 
Japanese bombers flying over Baguio as unmolested as if they 
were flying over Japan. At last I decided to take my car and 
go through the town to see how the people were behaving. 
Filipino Christians and Igorrots alike, they did not seem to 
be unduly alarmed although they had never before been in 
a real bombing. They walked in the streets and attended to 
their business as soon as the sirens blew the all-clear signal. 

While I was on my way to the main street of the city, 
Colonel Segundo of the Philippine Army, Commandant of 
the Military Academy in Baguio, reported to me the damage 
done at Camp John Hay. "How are your cadets?" I asked him. 
"They are all right, sir," he answered. Since there were no 
air-raid shelters either at Camp John Hay or at the Academy, 
Colonel Segundo had ordered the cadets to disperse under 


the pine trees with their rifles and ammunition belts whenever 
the air-raid signal was given. 

After the ride through the city, we went to the house of 
Major Speth which could not be seen well from the air and 
spent the rest of the day there. Once in this house, I sent for 
the Major of the Constabulary who had been charged with 
the duty of rounding up the Japanese nationals as soon as 
war broke out. He reported having performed his duty. 

By noon, I was again called to the phone by Secretary 

"The Japanese," he said, "have bombarded Clark Field and 
the whole place is now afire," 

"What are the American planes doing?" I inquired. Vargas 
did not know nor did I direct him to find out the answer. Up 
to this day, I never addressed that question again to anybody, 
for reasons that I shall state in the proper place. 

My aide-de-camp, Colonel Nieto, arrived in Baguio late 
in the afternoon and gave as the reason for his delay that the 
road between San Fernando and Angeles was clogged with 
traffic due to the bombardment of Clark Field. He said that 
the whole camp was ablaze. 

As the sun was coming down behind the high mountains 
of the Benguet road, my automobile ran down the zigzag 
way to Manila. How could I foresee that it would take a long 
time before I could go back to Baguio again? 

The eagerness of the Filipinos to fight, as well as the utter 
ignorance of our recruits and policemen at the beginning of 
the war as to how futile it is to try to kill, with riffles and 


shotguns, the Japanese flyers, is revealed by the following 
instances: In my house in Mariquina there were some 
soldiers of the presidential guard. Whenever they saw 
airplanes passing, flying low over my place, they would fire 
at the planes with their guns which, of course, made them 
targets for the Japanese machine guns from the air. At last it 
became necessary for my aide, Colonel Nieto, to stay among 
the soldiers to prevent them from committing this kind of 
near-suicide. The same thing was done by Filipino soldiers 
stationed at Camp Murphy, located about one kilometer from 
my house. The worst case, however, was that of a policeman 
in Quezon City who, on seeing a plane passing only a few 
hundred feet over his head, drew his revolver and fired a shot 
at the plane. He was instantly killed by the aviator. 

On my way to my farm in Arayat, which is about two 
hours by car from Manila, General Francisco, the Chief 
of the Constabulary, accompanied by the Constabulary 
Commander of Central Luzon, Major Rafael Jalandoni, met 
me on the road as I had previously directed them to do. I 
asked them to follow me to my house on the farm where I 
intended to discuss with them the general situation. 

As I reached the balcony of the house where my wife was 
anxiously awaiting my arrival, I saw in the west a big fire and 
asked Major Jalandoni: "What is that?" 

"The effect of the bombing of Clark Field," he answered. 
"Some hangars and some of the fuel stores have been hit, but 
most of the planes escaped,- since those that were destroyed 
were only dummies, according to my information." Such also 


was the information obtained by General Francisco. 

I greeted my wife who told me that the children were 
already fast asleep. Then in a corner of the balcony I listened 
to the report of General Francisco. He had ordered that all 
the Japanese nationals in the Islands be taken to concentration 
camps, but be treated well. Our own people, he said, were loyal, 
although he was keeping watch on the Sakdalistas (members 
of an organization headed by Benigno Ramos, a well-known 
pro-Japanese) lest they might turn fifth columnists. I reminded 
General Francisco that in agreement with the American military 
authorities, the Philippine Constabulary, under my direction, 
would continue to be responsible for the maintenance of public 
order and would assist the Civilian Emergency Administration 
in carrying out the measures which had been promulgated 
for the protection of the non-combatant population. General 
Francisco assured me that as far the Constabulary assignments 
were concerned, I could be certain that the men under his 
command would prove equal to their duty. After instructing 
General Francisco to take necessary precautions so that at any 
time day and night I might be able to get in touch with him, I 
gave him leave to return to Manila. 

To Major Jalandoni, I said: "Jalandoni, you know that much 
as I regretted dispensing with your services as my aide, I decided 
to have you appointed to your present post because most of the 
disturbing elements of Luzon are to be found in Pampanga and 
Nueva Ecija. I rely upon you to see to it that peaceful citizens are 
protected against robbers." The little fellow, only about five feet, 
four inches high but decorated for extraordinary valor in action, 


stood up at attention and said with evident determination: "I 
shall not disappoint you, sir" 

I left the balcony to call Secretary Vargas on the telephone. 
"Any more news, George?" I asked. 

"Nothing more, Mr. President," he answered. 

"Well, I am spending the night here at my farm and will 
continue the trip to-morrow morning. I want to have meeting 
of the Council of State at eleven o'clock. Make sure that 
Secretary Sison is present so that I may be fully informed of 
the measures that are being taken by the Civilian Emergency 
Administration. I also want former Secretary Manuel Roxas* 
to attend the meeting." My telephone conversation with 
Secretary Vargas ended my official conferences on that long 
and distressing day. 

I went to bed after chatting with the family. With my wife 
there were at the farm her two sisters, my niece Mary, and, 
at this moment, all our children. Around four o' clock in the 

*Manuel Roxas had been my Secretary of Finance, but had presented his 
resignation to be a candidate for senator. He had been elected by one of 
the largest majorities that any senator had received. He was, and if he 
is still alive, must certainly now be, one of the most outstanding Filipino 
leaders. He had been governor of his province when still a very young 
man and was elected Speaker of the National Assembly at the expiration 
of his first term as governor and was one of my strongest supporters 
until we broke our political association in 1934, on the occasion of our 
disagreement over the acceptance or rejection of the Hare-Hawes- 
Cutting Law by the Filipino people. Upon the inauguration of the 
Commonwealth Government and after the Nationalist Party had again 
reunited under my leadership, I trusted him with some of the most 
difficult and complicated problems that confronted the Commonwealth, 
with most satisfactory results. 


morning, I was awakened by the noise of airplanes passing 
not very far away. I did not make a move for I assumed that 
those were our own planes reconnoitering. After an early 
breakfast, we moved on to Manila, the family forming quite 
caravan. I went directly to my house in Mariquina to which I had 
moved from Malacanan Palace in December, 1940, when I had 
fallen ill. It is a country home situated on the cliffs overlooking 
the Mariquina river, with mango, papaya, banana and orange 
trees, and a poultry yard. It was one of the fine results of Mrs. 
Quezon's industry. Adjoining this plot, I had another lot of 
about fourteen acres which I turned over to the refugees from 
Germany, for their use free of charge, except for the payment of 
the land tax, for a period of ten years. I had informed the State 
Department that I would receive several thousands of these 
refugees in the Philippines and I started to demonstrate my 
faith in the policy I had adopted by making my own personal 
contribution to their care. 

The first thing I learned on my arrival at my house in 
Mariquina was about the bombing early that morning of 
Nichols Field. The flames and smoke could be seen from 
the tower of the house. So I concluded that the airplanes 
that had awakened me at 4 A.M. were Japanese planes flying 
towards Nichols Field outside Manila. 

Before noon of December 12, 1 94 1 , 1 received a telephone 
call from General MacArthur to inform me that he was sending 
his aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Colonel Huff, to see me on a 
very important and urgent matter. I told the General I would 
see his aide immediately. I was in my house situated on the 


cliffs overlooking the Mariquina River. When Colonel Huff 
arrived, he told me that General MacArthur wanted me to 
be ready on four hours' notice to go with him to Corregidor. 
I was shocked. I never imagined that I would ever have to 
take refuge on Corregidor. I had known for years that the 
fortress of Corregidor had been built as the last stronghold 
of the American forces in the Philippines and as a safe refuge 
for American Governors-General in case of grave danger. 
But it had never crossed my mind, even after the war had 
started, and Japanese control of the air had been definitely 
demonstrated, that there would ever come a time when I bad 
to go to Corregidor. I was no American Governor-General, but 
the Filipino President of the Commonwealth. It is true that 
while Major General Grunert was still in command of the 
Philippine Department, United States High Commissioner 
Sayre, in one of the conferences that I held with him and 
General Grunert, brought up the question of the evacuation 
from Manila, in case of necessity, of both the High 
Commissioner and the President of the Commonwealth. 
It was Mr. Sayre's opinion that we should be in the same 
locality. But I made it clear to both Commissioner Sayre and 
General Grunert that I felt it my duty to remain in the midst 
of my people, at whatever risk, because my presence would 
help to keep up their morale. General Grunert understood 
my feeling and thought it was right. Moreover, nothing was 
said in that conference to indicate that a Japanese invasion of 
the Philippines was a possibility as long as the American flag 
was still in the Islands. 


After the appointment of General MacArthur as the 
Commanding General of the United States Army Forces in 
the Far East on July 26, 1941 , Commissioner Sayre again and 
again brought up with me the question of our evacuation. He 
proposed that he and I should hold a conference with General 
MacArthur about this matter,- but I always refused to take the 
initiative for this conference, and the High Commissioner 
failed to bring it about. 

I was, therefore, wholly unprepared for the startling message 
from General MacArthur. I asked Colonel Huff to inform General 
MacArthur that I would see him that night at the Manila Hotel,- 
that I would arrive at the rear entrance, so that we might meet 
without being seen by any one. After eight o'clock that night, 
I went through the unlighted streets of Manila to the darkened 
"Winter Garden" of the Manila Hotel — an air-conditioned hall 
where, before the war, people used to dance during hot tropical 
nights. Colonel Huff was there waiting for me, and, upon my 
arrival, immediately went for his chief. 

General MacArthur gave no signs of being worried. He 
was perfectly calm and composed. I asked him the meaning 
of his message, and he explained that he was only preparing 
me for the worst in case the Japanese should land in great 
force at different places, in which case, it would unwise to 
keep our small army scattered all over Luzon. It was General 
MacArthur's plan — as I understood him — if such a situation 
should develop, to concentrate his army in the Bataan 
Peninsula and on Corregidor where he was determined to 
fight until the end. 


"But, General," I demurred, "why would I have to go to 
Corregidor in that case? The military defense of the Philippines 
is primarily America's responsibility and not mine. I have already 
placed every Filipino soldier under your command. My own first 
duty is to take care of the civilian population and to maintain 
public order while you are fighting the enemy." 

I further said: "Were I to go Corregidor, my people would 
think I had abandoned them to seek safety under your 
protection. This I shall never do. I shall stay among my 
people and suffer the same fate that may befall them." 

General MacArthur was not in the least ruffled by my 
answer. He simply said: "Mr. President, I expected that 
answer from such a gallant man as I know you to be." 

He tried to convince me that it was not a question of 
running away from my countrymen. He reminded me of 
our agreement to declare Manila an open city, to avoid its 
destruction by enemy bombs and also to save the civilian 
population from the cruel effects of modern warfare. He 
pointed out to me that so far the Japanese had only been 
bombing military objectives and that if they should continue 
to follow that practice, as under international law they were 
bound to do, when we left Manila there would be nothing 
there to require my presence. 

Then I asked: "Do you mean, General, that to-morrow you 
will declare Manila an open city and that some time during 
the day we shall have to go to Corregidor?" 

He gave me a most emphatic no answer. He did not even 
seem to be certain that we would have to leave the city at all. He 


informed me that the force under the command of the Filipino 
General Capinpin had succeeded in preventing the landing of 
the Japanese in Lingayen Gulf, about one hundred miles to the 
north of Manila. Evidently he was only preparing me in advance 
to leave the city on four hours' notice. Noting, I suppose, that 
I still hesitated, he reminded me of the fact that the safety of 
my person was not a mere personal matter, but of great import 
to the Government of the Philippines of which I was the head. 
He asserted that it was his duty to prevent my falling into the 
enemy's hands. He was also of the opinion that as long as I was 
free, the occupation of Manila, or even of the Philippines, by 
the Japanese Army would not have the same significance under 
international law as if the Government had been captured or 
had surrendered. 

My parting words that night were: "General, I shall convene 
to-morrow the Council of State and hear their views,- then I 
will let you know my decision." 

In the course of the conversation, I had asked General 
MacArthur whom I could take with me in case I should 
decide to go to Corregidor with him. He told me frankly that 
conditions in the fortress did not permit the evacuation of 
many civilians to that spot. Therefore, I could only take such 
officials as I considered absolutely necessary, and also my 
doctors in view of the bad condition of my health. However, 
he advised me strongly to bring my family along. 

Two other persons only were present while the conference 
was taking place — my inseparable aide-de-camp, Colonel 
Nieto, a strong chap who had many times taken me in his 


arms like a child whenever I was too sick to go up a staircase, 
but not sick enough to obey my doctor's order to stay in bed,- 
the other man was Lieutenant Colonel Huff, aide-de-camp 
to General MacArthur. Neither of them heard what was said 
between the General and me. 

When I got home, I called my wife aside and repeated 
to her everything that General MacArthur had told me. I 
wanted her advice. She felt that it would be very painful to 
leave and be away from our people. "But this is war," she 
said, "total war — and the Military Commander should know 
better what should be done to win it. 

"The winning of the war," Mrs. Quezon added, "is the only 
question before us. Nothing else matters." 
I agreed. She had put her finger on the right spot. 
"How about you and the children — will you come with me?" 
I inquired. Instead of answering my question she asked me 
another: "What do you want us to do?" 

"I want you to remain here. The Japanese will respect you 
and treat you with every consideration. I have always dealt 
with their nationals in the Philippines with courtesy and 
justice. And you have done the same." 

Mrs. Quezon answered: "I shall do as you wish, but my 
preference is to be with you. Remember the sacred words, 
'For better or for worse, in sickness or in health till death 
doth us part.'. . . 

"However," she counseled, "let us think the matter over to- 
night and to-morrow we should hear what our children have 
to say. They are grown up enough to be heard." 


On the following day and before the meeting of the 
Council of State which I called for eleven o'clock, the family 
council took place. Every member of the family was willing to 
do as I wished,- but, like their mother, who had said nothing 
to them of our conversation the night before, they preferred 
to go with me wherever I went. 

Despite this unanimous sentiment on the part of my family, 
I was still determined not to subject them to the horrible 
life that I knew would await us on Corregidor once we were 
beleaguered there. 

At eleven o'clock that morning, I held my first meeting 
with the Council of State after the Japanese attack on the 
Philippines. Almost everyday I held those meetings until my 
departure for Corregidor. 

It is simply unbelievable how the average Filipino reacts in 
the presence of peril. All the members of the Council came 
on time to attend the session, not one showing the slightest 
sign of either fear or worry. I felt ashamed of myself, for I 
knew I was both afraid and worried. 

Those present at the meeting were: Vice-President Sergio 
Osmena, Speaker Jose Yulo, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, 
Majority Floor Leader Quintin Paredes, Secretary of Finance 
Serafin Marabut, Secretary of Justice Jose P. Laurel, Secretary 
of Agriculture and Natural Resources Rafael Alunan, Secretary 
of Commerce and Communications Sotero Baluyot, 
Secretary of Public Instruction Jorge Bocobo, Secretary of 
Labor Leon Guinto, Secretary of Health Jose Fabella, and 
Secretary to the President Jorge B. Vargas, who was also 


Acting Secretary of National Defense. The former Secretary 
of Justice, Teofilo Sison, who was then at the head of the 
most important war organization of the Commonwealth, the 
Civilian Emergency Administration, was of course present, 
as well as the Chief of Staff of the Philippine Army, General 
Basilio Valdes, and the Chief of the Philippine Constabulary, 
General Guillermo Francisco. Senator Roxas also came in the 
uniform of a Major of the Philippine Army, inducted into the 
service of the United States. This Filipino official, one of our 
most able, upon the creation of the Philippine Army in the 
first year of my administration, with other members of the 
National Assembly entered the Military School for Officers 
in Baguio and he with the others had been commissioned 
as reserved officers of the Philippine Army. On learning of 
the declaration of war between the United States and Japan, 
Senator Roxas asked to be called into active service and was 
appointed by General MacArthur his liaison officer with the 
Government of the Commonwealth. 

At the meeting of the Council of State, I addressed myself 
first to General Valdes to find out if the whole Philippine 
Army had already been inducted into the service of the 
United States, what their total strength was, where they 
were distributed, etc. I also wanted to know from him the 
strength of the United States Army then stationed in the 
Philippines. General Valdes reported that on September I, 
1941, ten divisions of the Philippine Army were inducted 
into the United States Army,- that of these, seven divisions 
were in Luzon, two divisions in Visayas, and one division in 


Mindanao, a total of eighty thousand men,- that the United 
States Army consisted of ten thousand Americans and ten 
thousand Philippine Scouts. Then I asked General Francisco to 
report the actual number of the Constabulary Force, the steps 
he had taken in accordance with previous instructions, and 
such other information as he might have. General Francisco 
informed us that he had about six thousand men distributed in 
the provinces of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao,- that he had 
given orders to round up all the Japanese and to take them to 
internment camps. He also mentioned the splendid service 
that was being rendered by the volunteer guards which had 
been organized by the Civilian Emergency Administration 
in every city town, and barrio in the Philippines, and placed 
under the supervision and control of the Constabulary. These 
men, according to General Francisco, were working day and 
night without compensation, guarding the roads and bridges 
against possible sabotage, and were also helping in the 
evacuation of the civilian population from dangerous zones 
that had been so designated by the Military Command. 

After hearing the reports of the two Filipino general 
officers about their respective assignments, I requested former 
Secretary Sison to inform the Council of the activities of 
the Civilian Emergency Administration. He confirmed what 
General Francisco said about the magnificent work that the 
volunteer guards were doing, pointing out the fact that they 
were receiving no compensation. He also reported that in the 
air raids of the day before against Clark Field in Pampanga 
and that morning against Nichols Field in Pasay, no heavy 


casualties had been suffered by the civilian population for 
the Japanese had bombed only military objectives, and those 
with surprising accuracy. I asked Secretary Sison the situation 
as to food supply, and he said that Dr. Victor Buencamino, 
the Food Administrator, had ample supplies in store, and 
that he had no fear the people might be starved even if the 
Japanese blockaded the Islands for several months. 

At this point, the Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Alunan, 
intervened and reminded us of what we already knew about 
the results of the policy which a few months before we had 
adopted, namely to make the people plant short-time crops. 
Secretary Alunan was optimistic as far as this aspect of the 
war situation was concerned. Secretary Guinto of Labor 
expressed gratification over the wholehearted cooperation 
that the labor elements were extending to the war efforts 
of the Government. Then I turned to Speaker Yulo, the 
chief member of the Council of State after the Vice- 
President, and asked him if the National Assembly would 
convene according to law to certify the results of the general 
elections which had just been held.* The Speaker answered 
that the majority of the members of the Assembly were 
already in Manila. I informed Speaker Yulo that I would call 
the National Assembly into special session to consider war 

*In the general elections, the President, Vice-President, Senators, and 
Representatives for the ensuing administration had just been chosen, and 
the National Assembly, under existing law, was to convene in December 
to certify the election returns. 


measures. I adjourned the meeting of the Council of State 
to convene again the following day at the same hour unless 
sooner called by the President. Air raid or no air raid, the 
Council met every day until my departure for Corregidor. 

I issued the call for the special session and I am proud and 
thankful to say that the members of the National Assembly 
attended to their duties despite the daily visits of Japanese 
planes over Manila. When it became evident that we were 
completely helpless against air attack and that it was most 
unlikely the Philippine Legislature would hold its next regular 
session which was to open on January 1, 1942, the National 
Assembly passed into history approving a resolution which 
reaffirmed the abiding faith of the Filipino people in, and their 
loyalty to, the United States. The Assembly also enacted a 
law granting the President of the Philippines all the powers 
that under the Philippine Constitution may be delegated to 
him in time of war. This act would become invalid unless re- 
enacted after a certain period had elapsed. 

During luncheon, Maria, my elder daughter, asked my 
permission to organize her girl friends for the purpose of 
soliciting public contributions to buy Christmas gifts for the 
"boys at the front." In the Philippines, public contributions 
may not be solicited except with the permission of the 
Government, to avoid racketeering. I applauded the idea and 
gave my consent. 

Maria and her friends, Helen Benitez, Lulu Reyes, my other 
daughter, Zeneida, my nieces Mary and Charing, and a large 
number of girls from the Philippine Women's University, the 


Centro Escolar University and Catholic colleges, worked 
every day, first to solicit contributions and later to make up 
packages in the Social Hall of Malacanan. How I admired 
those young girls wrapping up their packages even while the 
air raids were going on. God bless them! The Philippines 
Herald and the Tribune helped the girls with their publicity 
campaign. The last thing that my daughter Maria did before 
leaving Manila was to give instructions for sending these gifts 
to the boys at the front. Indeed, due to this fact, we departed 
from Malacanan and not from our house on the Mariquina 
on our hazardous voyage to the south, which finally ended 
in Washington D.C. 

In the first week of the war, although I continued to have 
fever every night and was being either carried in somebody's 
arms or pushed about in a wheel-chair, I visited the Philippine 
General Hospital when I heard that many men, women, and 
children had been wounded in a very severe air raid on Camp 
Nichols. With me came my aide-de-camp, Colonel Nieto, 
my daughter Maria and my son Manuel, Zeneida having 
remained home with her mother. As we passed through the 
streets of Manila and its suburbs, with the presidential flag 
flying on my car, the people shouted, "Mabuhay — long live 
America, the Philippines, and President Quezon!" 

In front of the headquarters of the Philippine Army there 
was a long line of young men waiting for their turn to enlist. 
It seems that the very defenselessness of Manila made these 
young men the more eager to fight the invaders. I stopped 
my car, made a sign to silence their cheering, and said, "My 


boys, I am proud of you," and went on. Later I learned that 
even after Manila's fall and after our forces in Luzon had 
retreated to Bataan, the Filipinos in the other Islands were 
seeking to enlist in the Philippine Army. If we had only had 
the necessary number of rifles, there would have been no 
lack of Filipinos to use them. 

At the Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Antonio G. Sison, 
the Dean of the College of Medicine of the State University 
as well as the director of the hospital, met me in his physician's 
gown, stained with blood. He looked very serious and said: "Mr. 
President, there are already here many wounded and many more 
arriving." No more competent physician or executive have I 
ever known in my life than Dr. Sison. Besides all this, he has 
both the physical and moral courage that make heroes of 
men. He was also my family physician. Placing me in a wheel- 
chair, he led me through the corridors to see the suffering 
victims. Doctors and nurses were all at work. Fortunately, 
since the inauguration of the Commonwealth Government, I 
had given special attention to hospital facilities. All over the 
Islands new hospitals had been built and the Philippine General 
Hospital in Manila had been practically doubled in capacity, 
equipment, and personnel. So this institution was ready to meet 
the unexpected demands upon it. 

After leaving the hospital, I continued my drive and visited 
other sections of the city until nightfall. Seeing the effect 
that my presence had upon the people, I did the same thing 
on different days after the air raids, until I was compelled by 
circumstances beyond my control to leave Manila. 



T NINE o'clock in the morning of December 24, 
1941, Colonel Huff, aide-de-camp to General 
MacArthur, came to inform to me that, in 
accordance with a previous understanding, I was 

to leave for Corregidor at two o'clock in the afternoon. The 
last meeting of the Cabinet was held at ten o'clock the same 
morning, and we decided finally which of the government 
officials were to accompany me to Corregidor. To them all 
I revealed the agreement with General MacArthur that in 
order to avoid the destruction of the city and save the civilian 
population from the horrors of indiscriminate bombardment 
from Japanese planes and siege-guns, Manila was to be 
declared an open city. 

My last instructions to my colleagues who were left 
behind were that they should do everything in their power 
to minimize the sufferings of the civilian population. "Keep 
your faith in America, no matter what happens. She will 
never let you down." 

Every one of them wanted to accompany me, even though 
obliged to leave their families behind in Manila, but for lack 
of space and other obvious reasons, I could take only Vice- 
President Osmena, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, Major 
General Basilio J. Valdes, Colonel Manuel Nieto, my aide- 


de-camp, and Serapio D. Canceran, my private secretary. I 
advised them to be ready at the Presidential Landing at two 
o'clock in the afternoon. It was a heart-breaking separation 
from men who, through thick and thin, for so many years 
had been my friends and my loyal supporters. But I consoled 
by the fact that I was leaving behind a people on whom I 
could depend to do their duty by their country, regardless of 
the consequences to their lives and fortunes. 

In my heart of hearts, I was almost certain then that 
it would be a long time before we could meet again. I 
embraced everybody good-by and we parted. Immediately 
thereafter my family and my senior aid-de-camp, Colonel 
Nieto, accompanied me to the Palace of Malacafian. We 
found in the Social Hall here about fifty young girls with 
Mrs. Sofia de Veyra, the secretary to Mrs. Quezon, wrapping 
up the Christmas gifts for the soldiers, gifts which had been 
collected by public subscription upon the initiative of my 
eldest daughter Maria, with the help of her sister Zeneida, 
their cousins Mary Angara and Rosario Carrasco, and their 
friends Helen Benitez, Lulu Reyes and the Fabella girls. My 
two daughters immediately joined the girls and worked with 
them. By noon — at the usual time — Japanese bombers were 
flying over the city and began bombarding the Port Area in 
the immediate vicinity of the Presidential Landing, where, at 
two o'clock, we were supposed to embark. My last hours in 
the Palace of Malacafian could not have been more dramatic 
and inspiring. In that historic palace, the official residence 
of Spanish and American Governors- General, and then of 


the President of the Commonwealth, were those young girls 
completely unperturbed by the air raid and the bursting 
bombs, and attending to their self-assigned tasks. I thanked 
God that I was permitted to witness the patriotism, the 
courage, and the self-possession of the Filipino women 
who, throughout the history of their country, have never 
failed to share the sacrifices of the Filipino men. This 
breathtaking scene steeled my heart for the grim struggle 
ahead. Such a country, with such women, even though 
only in their teens, could never accept defeat! No Japanese 
planes, no Japanese Army, no Japanese Navy, not the whole 
combined forces of the Axis powers could ever permanently 
conquer the Filipino people! 

By two o'clock in the afternoon, the Japanese bombers were 
still pouring bombs in the Port Area and on the bay. Hence, 
our departure was delayed. At three o'clock, although the 
all-clear signal had not been sounded, General MacArthur's 
aide, Colonel Huff, and Major Manuel Roxas, his liaison 
officer, came to Malacanan to inform me that the hour for 
departure had arrived. It was heart-rending to part from my 
wife's sister, Emilia, who had been my lifelong pal, and her 
daughter Mary, my dear niece. While my wife and children 
were embracing and kissing Emilia and Mary, I turned to 
Secretary Vargas, my faithful, hard-working, able, honest and 
public-spirited secretary, to give him my final instructions. 
"God bless you, George, and lead you in the right path. You 
have my absolute confidence, and I am sure you will not fail 
me. Good-by." Vargas merely said with suppressed feelings: 


"Mr. President, no matter what happens, you can count upon 
me, whether here in Malacafian, if the Japanese allow me 
to remain, or in my house in Kawilihan." No other word 
was said. That was enough for two men who had worked 
together in good and evil days for so many years. 

From the Presidential Landing, in two launches, the party 
headed for the S.S Mayon, nearly a mile away. Then I realized 
the air raid was not over, for there were still a few planes 
dropping bombs in the bay. They were trying to sink every 
ship in their view. Fortunately no member of my family 
noticed the danger to which we were exposed. They would 
have been gravely anxious, but for me, rather than for their 
own lives. 

At last we boarded the S.S. Mayon, but the ship was not 
ready to move. The chief engineer and his first assistant had 
gone ashore to take some clothes and were not expected 
until the evening. The captain was there. For nothing in 
the world would he leave his ship, since the Japanese had 
become masters of the air over the bay. His name, now 
immortal, was Captain Aguirre. When, two months later, 
the Mayon was finally discovered by the Japanese bombers 
to be transporting supplies by order of General MacArthur, 
this heroic man went to the bottom of the sea with his ship. 
I ordered the captain to sail, chief engineer or no. The ship- 
owner, Mr. Madrigal, my lifelong friend, was there to see me 
off. Under his direction, the third engineer was able to start 
the engines after one hour and a half of work, during which 
time the bombing of the bay did not cease. If the Japanese 


pilots had only known that U.S. High Commissioner Sayre, 
together with his wife and son, members of his staff and the 
President of the Commonwealth, were aboard the Mayon, 
they would never have let our ship get away. They would 
have been decorated by His Imperial Majesty Hirohito for 
having murdered two men whom His Majesty had designed 
to receive into his august presence not long before. But 
evidently no fifth columnists were either in the vicinity of 
the High Commissioner's residence or in mine. 

All the while, and until the last Japanese bomber 
disappeared from the sky, everybody on board, including 
Commissioner Sayre and I, had our life-belts on. No, there 
were two who did not wear them: my aide-de-camp, Colonel 
Nieto, and my daughter Maria, who put on her life-belt only 
when her mother commanded her to do it,- but, at the first 
chance, she regularly took it off again, until caught without 
it by either her mother or by me. At six-thirty I was hungry, 
and asked that dinner be served. Our whole party took their 
seats at the tables, but the Commissioner and his family and 
party did not seem to have any appetite. I insisted that they 
join us, fir it might be our last meal. The argument carried the 
point, and we all enjoyed the banquet. There were cocktails, 
wine, soup, fish, meat, a variety of fruits, dessert and coffee. 
It was perfect, but it proved to be for us all the last example 
for many a week, not only of a feast, but even of a simple, 
well-balanced and sufficient diet. 

At dusk, we arrived at the pier of Corregidor, at the very 
spot where, with Major General Kilbourne, I had landed in 


1 935, to be received with a gun salute and a regimental guard 
of honor. This time only the commander of the Fortress, 
General Moore, and his aide-de-camp, were there to receive 
me. After taking me into his car, General Moore said: "You 
came just late enough to escape the bombing of Mariveles 
Bay. A French ship anchored in that bay was sunk half an 
hour before your arrival." Good luck seemed to be with us. 
We escaped two bombings, one at the start, and another at 
the end, of our trip across Manila Bay. 

General Moore showed me to my quarters in the tunnel. 
I was to stay with the male members of my staff in the same 
lateral to which High Commissioner Sayre and his staff 
were assigned, and my wife and daughters were to share 
another lateral with Mrs. Sayre and the American ladies. 
Each lateral had but one shower, one toilet and one wash 
basin for its occupants. There were also two small houses 
not too far from the tunnel, one for Commissioner Sayre and 
the other for me, which we could use when there were no 
air raids. General Moore apologized for thus piling us in a 
single, long, but narrow corridor, dark and without fresh air. 
As proof that this apparent disregard for our comfort and 
health was not due either to lack of courtesy or desire on his 
part properly to accommodate us, he informed me that the 
Supreme Commander of the USAFFE, General MacArthur, 
his Chief of Staff, General Sutherland, his aide-de-camp, 
Colonel Huff, the Quartermaster General, General Drake, 
the Adjutant General, Colonel Seals, the Chief Health 
Officer, Colonel Smith, and Major Roxas, the liaison officer, 


were also to share with us the same lateral. All told, there 
would be twenty-eight of us in that place. 

I thanked General Moore and begged him not to worry 
about me. In a light vein I reminded him of the fact that 
I had been an insurrecto, well trained by actual experience 
to stand the hardships of war. "This is a first class hotel," I 
remarked, "compared with those habitations during my days 
as a guerrillero against your army." General Moore appreciated 
the joke. He thought, perhaps, that I would miss the splendor 
and comfort of Malacanan Palace. As a matter of fact, I did 
not. I was even grateful that in some insignificant way I could 
thus share the ordeal that our own soldiers at the front were 
going through at that very moment. 

Before midnight of the same day, General MacArthur, 
with his wife and son, his Chief of Staff, Major General 
Sutherland, Colonel Willoughby, chief of the Intelligence 
Service, Colonel Seals, Adjutant General, Colonel Huff, his 
aide-de-camp, and many other officers arrived at Corregidor 
aboard the steamer Don Esteban. 

The following morning General MacArthur and I had four 
first meeting in Corregidor, a practice which thereafter we 
followed every day, and sometimes more than once a day 
until my departure from the Fortress. 

It was Christmas Eve, which Catholics celebrate with a 
midnight mass. At 1 2 o'clock that night, my family and party 
and I heard mass inside the tunnel with an improvised altar. 
When the priest read "Gloria in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus 
bonae voluntatis," the heavenly song sung by the angels almost 


two thousand years before sounded in my ears with an almost 
ironical tone. Glory to God on high and on earth peace to men 
of good will. Peace! Where were the men of good will when in 
all parts of the globe men were butchering one another at that 
solemn hour? Did the Divine Child who descended upon the 
earth to preach brotherly love die in vain? 

After the midnight mass it is customary among Catholics 
to wish everybody Merry Christmas. Who could give 
expression to that wish when all of us were sunk in the 
depths of grief? I kissed my wife and children. "Good-night, 
sweetheart,- good- night, Dad",- and each went to bed. 

It was an awful night, for I coughed all the time. Form 
the beginning of the war my malady had gone from the bad 
worse. The lack of fresh air and humidity of the tunnel had an 
immediate effect upon my bronchials. But although awake, 
I refused to think. I closed my mind tightly and allowed 
no thought to come in. The decision had been made and I 
was determined to face its dire consequences. To ruminate 
over the past — peaceful, happy, and steady progress of my 
people — or to remember the dear ones whom I had left 
behind would be a self-inflicted torture hard to endure. To 
look to the future was of no use. Victory, of course. Of this 
I was certain. But when? God only knew. In the meantime, 
for those who were in Corregidor or Bataan, including my 
family, there were only two alternatives — death, which was 
perhaps the less dreadful of the two, or long captivity in the 
hands of a ruthless enemy. All of that was in my subconscious 
mind, but I would not let it come up into my consciousness. 


The following day was Christmas. I was dumb and stupid, 
but managed to appear unconcerned. 

At eleven A.M. General MacArthur came to make a call. He 
and his family, with some members of his staff, had arrived 
in Corregidor several hours after us, quite late that night. 
He was going to occupy General Moore's house at the top 
of the hill and locate his office in another house near-by. 
He had left all the necessary orders for the declaration of 
Manila as an open city and had sent for the Japanese Consul 
General (then in detention) in order that the Consul might 
communicate this fact to the General in command of the 
invasion army. 

Meanwhile, the American and Filipino troops were 
retreating to Bataan, fighting a delaying action so as to reach 
the Peninsula with their full strength. The orders were being 
carried out magnificently and to the letter. The Philippine 
army was writing history. The General was certain that he 
and I would be proud of our handiwork. That was all for the 
present. He would see me every day at the same time and 
at any other time that there was some important news. At 
noon, there was a Christmas dinner, turkey for everybody, 
including the soldiers. Our lateral was in the hospital located 
in the tunnel, and we ate our meals in the dining-room for 
the doctors and nurses. We were served after them. The sight 
of the turkey gave me almost a thrill. Not that I cared for the 
meat of this bird, for I do not, but because it momentarily 
changed my mood. After all, the prospect did not look so 
bad. The U.S.A, I thought, must be well provided to stand 


a long siege. I was in high spirits during the dinner, and the 
wine I had brought from Manila toasted our triumphal return 
to that city in time to celebrate in Malacanan the birthday of 
my wife, February 19th. 

After dinner we went out of the tunnel for a breath of 
fresh air. The view of the deep blue sea and the green 
Mariveles mountain on that glorious, sunny December day 
was extremely exhilarating. Before I realized it, my mind 
was dwelling upon memories of a long and distant past — my 
days spent as an insurrecto on the trip of this very Peninsula, 
and my surrender in Mariveles. Would the Army, fast 
concentrating in Bataan, meet the same fate and surrender 
to the enemy as I had done forty years earlier? This thought 
brought me back to the realities of the situation which we 
were confronting. I went to my lateral to shut, not only my 
eyes, but my mind, again. I took a siesta and then played 
bridge until suppertime. 

Another bad night with much coughing, and the 26th of 
December arrived. 

After breakfast, Dr. Trepp and General Valdes, the Chief of 
Staff of the Philippine Army (and at this time acting Secretary 
of National Defense), who were staying in my lateral, and had 
heard me coughing on the two previous nights, suggested 
that I send some one to Manila to get all the medicines that 
I might need. Dr. Trepp is a native Swiss who had acquired 
Philippine citizenship. He is a lung specialist whom I took 
to Corregidor because of the recurrence in December of the 
year before of my tuberculosis. General Valdes, like the late 


General Wood, is a professional physician who had served 
in a First World War in France as Army doctor, and who later 
became an officer of the Constabulary, next Chief of that 
organization, and upon formation of the Philippine Army 
succeeded General Paulino Santos as Chief of Staff. 

On December 27th I sent my aide, Colonel Nieto, to 
Manila to get the required medicines. 

My long association with Colonel Nieto first began at the 
time of his graduation from my alma mater, the College of San 
Juan de Letran. He had been a fine track athlete and perhaps 
the best football player of his day in the Philippines. 

It is traditional in San Juan de Letran for the Dominican 
friars who conducted the college to tell the undergraduates 
of the student lives of those who have preceded them and 
later distinguished themselves in their careers. After my 
election as Resident Commissioner to the United States, 
and particularly upon my return to the Philippines in 1916 
after the passage of the Jones Act, the professors of San Juan 
de Letran had spoken proudly of me. The whole student 
body went out to join in the public welcome which on that 
occasion was tendered me, and they formed a guard of honor 
in front of the college building when the Quezon Gate was 
opened in the old city wall facing the college. There I met 
young Nieto. 

After the completion of his studies, Nieto offered his 
services to me. He was not interested in the salary, for his 
father, an old Spaniard who owned who owned landed estates 
in the tobacco provinces of northern Luzon, had enough 


with which to support him. Of course, Nieto received a 
salary when I appointed him secretary of the Senate, of 
which I had become the President. From the time that he 
entered the public service he had always been by my side 
when he thought there might be any risk to my life. After 
my election as President of the Philippines, he was sent to 
the Officer's Training Camp in Baguio, where he graduated 
with distinction and was commissioned as Captain of the 
Philippine Army in the Reserve Corps. Later I called him to 
active duty as aide-de-camp. Nieto knows no fear. During 
the whole time that we were on Corregidor he never ran 
for the tunnel when bombs were bursting around us, and his 
loyalty has been such that I always felt that he would give 
his life to save mine. Some people, jealous of his prowess, 
have called him, disparagingly, my bodyguard. As a matter 
of fact, I never did have a bodyguard. Even as President of 
the Philippines I was accustomed to walk around in public 
without a policeman or secret service man, or Nieto, or any 
one, by my side. On one occasion, my friend Roy Howard 
of the Scripps-Howard newspapers, who saw me alone in 
the midst of a large group of all kinds of people, advised 
me against it. I may say that it is not lack of fear, of which 
I have plenty, as I have discovered to my discomfiture on 
many instances, which caused me to be seemingly careless 
about my personal safety. Rather, it is my conviction that if a 
public man is marked to be eliminated, no amount of police, 
bodyguards or anything of the sort can save him, as history has 
shown again and again. Furthermore, I know the psychology 


of my people. They would have resented, as evidence of lack 
of confidence in them, their chosen President's always being 
surrounded by armed men. On the other hand, the Filipino 
returns lavishly, with a loyalty that knows no bounds, the 
affection and confidence of those whom he has elevated to 
high office. Of course, when there was real need for haste, 
motorcycle policemen preceded my car to open the traffic. 
On formal occasions either a cavalry or motorized artillery 
escort accompanied my car. 

Reverting to my story: I sent Colonel Nieto to Manila 
aboard the presidential launch Baler and he came back the 
following day, the 27th. He had been to Malacanan Palace, 
had had a long conference with Secretary Vargas, then the 
Mayor of Greater Manila, and had seen Mr. Andres Soriano, 
who offered the one remaining plane he had for my family and 
me to use in order to go to Australia. Mr. Soriano's air service 
was a Philippine corporation which had been operating for 
some time before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Under the 
franchise granted by the Commonwealth Government, in 
case of emergency the Government had the right to take over 
and operate the airplanes owned by the company. Upon the 
beginning of hostilities Mr. Soriano had offered all his planes 
to General MacArthur, who, of course, accepted the offer, 
but allowed the company to continue the service until the 
Army actually needed them. It was one of these planes that 
was offered to me. With many thanks I declined it. Colonel 
Nieto also brought a copy of the newspaper containing 
General MacArthur's proclamation declaring Manila an open 


city. Here it is: 

In order to spare the metropolitan area from possible ravages of attack 
either by air or ground, Manila is hereby declared an open city without 
the characteristics of a military objective. In order that no excuse may 
be given for a possible mistake, the American High Commissioner, the 
Commonwealth Government, and all combatant military installations 
will be withdrawn from its environs as rapidly as possible. 

The municipal government will continue to function with its police powers 
reinforced by constabulary troops, so that the normal protection of life and 
property may be preserved. Citizens are requested to maintain obedience to 
constituted authorities and continue the normal processes of business. 

Later in the day General MacArthur stated that the 
declaration of Manila as an open city had been announced,- 
that he was getting out of the city as fast as possible the few 
remaining armed forces there,- that a delaying action was being 
fought by our men to cover the retreat of the Army to Bataan. 
After the conference with General MacArthur, I called my 
War Cabinet together to transmit to them the information 
just received. At this time the War Cabinet consisted of the 
Vice-President as Secretary of Public Instruction, Chief Justice 
Jose Abad Santos, Secretary of Finance and Agriculture, and 
General Basilio J. Valdes, Secretary of National Defense 
and Public Works and Communications. Also present was 
Major Manuel Roxas, who, though no longer a member of 
the Cabinet, was always invited to attend whenever a really 


important matter was to be considered. 

On the 27th, General MacArthur reported that the 
Treasury Building and the old church of Santo Domingo had 
been bombed despite the declaration of Manila as an open 
city. It may be imagined with what indignation and pain we 
received this cruel news. Of course, no damage was done to 
the government gold and silver for, with the exception of 
small amounts that were kept in the Treasury in Manila for 
use as required, the rest had always been kept in a vault in 
Corregidor. The bulk of the paper currency however, was 
kept in the Treasury for the ordinary use of the government 
and the people. In order to find out how much damage 
had been done to the Treasury, I sent Colonel Nieto again 
to Manila with the instructions to Secretary Vargas to send 
as much paper currency as possible. This duly reached us on 

On this same day General MacArthur reported another 
bit of information which distressed me personally even more 
than the bad news of the day before. The College of San 
Juan de Letran and the buildings of the Philippines Herald had 
been razed to the ground by Japanese bombs. The College 
of San Juan de Letran, as repeatedly stated in this story, was 
my alma matter. The Philippines Herald was a newspaper that 
had been published, on my initiative, by Filipino capital, in 
the English language, to express the Filipino point of view on 
public questions. 

A Tokyo broadcast in English, Spanish and Tagalog, 
addressed to President Quezon, offered the following 


conditions as prerequisite for the acceptance by Japan of the 
status of Manila as an open city: (1) that all military camps 
and establishments be withdrawn from Manila and the 
approaches to the city, and (2) that Filipino armies cooperate 
with the Japanese forces and cease all resistance. 

Before noon on December 29th, Corregidor had its 
first taste of bombardment from the air. With my wife and 
children and a group of officers, including doctors and nurses, 
I was outside the tunnel when the sound of bursting bombs 
and anti-aircraft guns informed us that it was time to seek 
cover in the tunnel. Everybody moved in, but my daughter 
Maria was not in any hurry. Colonel Nieto had to push her 
in for my wife would not enter the tunnel before making 
sure that all the children were safe. Soon, through the main 
entrance to the hospital the wounded began to arrive at the 
hospital. I asked my wife to go into her lateral and take the 
girls with her so as to relieve them of the distress of seeing 
our casualties. While the bombing was going on, my anxiety 
for General MacArthur and his family was indescribable. I 
knew that both his house and his office were at top-side, in 
the vicinity of the main hospital. The latter evidently had 
suffered a direct hit, for some of the wounded brought into 
the tunnel had been hit near the hospital. There was no one 
who could say what had happened to the General. One 
of General Moore's staff officers did report one fact which 
afforded some relief to my anxiety. According to his officer, 
there was an air-raid shelter near the house and the office. 

On December 30th, the Japanese planes made their second 


visit to Corregidor, evidently with as much gusto as on the 
day before. But neither in casualties nor in property damage 
was their bombing so severe as the preceding one, and yet in 
our tunnel the effect of this second bombardment was bad. 
On the day before, the Japanese had directed their bombs 
only against top-side and while their practically demolished 
everything in sight up there, no bombs had fallen on "bottom- 
side". So the tunnel had not been in the least affected. The 
bombing of the 29th damaged the lighting system and broke 
the water pipes serving the tunnel. We were in darkness. 
Casualties that were brought into the hospital had to be 
attended with flashlights. For some days we had to drink and 
cook in salty water. 

The all-clear signal had hardly been sounded and some 
lights restored, when a long radiogram was delivered to me 
containing a proclamation of the President of the United 
States addressed to the people of the Philippines. On reading 
the message I was instantly electrified and thrilled. The 
dungeon where my sick body was lying lost its depressing 
gloom. I asked to be taken out to the open space, for the 
world was too small to contain the emotions that almost 
burst my heart. Indeed, I was so invigorated that I gave my 
wife a jolt when she saw me walking fast through the long 
corridor of the tunnel out into the setting sun. The receipt of 
the President's proclamation fortunately took place the day 
preceding my inauguration, and so it was a most welcome 
and timely addition to the address I had prepared. Indeed, I 
was almost tempted to dispense with my entire manuscript 


and limit myself to the reading of the President's message. 

President Roosevelt's proclamation had at last broken wide 
open the doors of my conscious mind. After the receipt of 
the message, I held a Cabinet meeting and read it to them. 
Giving vent to my feelings, I told my colleagues that the 
sacrifices our country was making were not in vain. There was 
a future so brilliant and full of promise — no, not promise, but 
certainly. The Philippines would not only be independent 
and free, but its independence and freedom were to be 
protected and safeguarded by the "entire resources in men 
and materials of the United States." 

The 30th of December, 1941, was the date set by law for the 
end of my first and beginning of my second administration. At 
about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the ceremonies of my second 
installation as President of the Commonwealth were held. A 
platform had been improvised in the leveled clearing outside 
the tunnel used as the officer's mess. Upon this platform the 
United States High Commissioner was seated on my right, the 
Supreme Commander of the United States Armed Forces in the 
Far East, General MacArthur, on my left, Vice-President Sergio 
Osmena to the right of the High Commissioner, and Chief 
Justice Jose Abad Santos, of the Supreme Court, to the left of 
General MacArthur. In front of the platform in the first row were 
my War Cabinet, the Commander of the Fort of Corregidor, 
General Moore, the Commander of Artillery, General King, the 
Quartermaster General, General Drake, and my family,- behind 
there were the high ranking officers of the United States and 
Philippine Armies, my staff, doctors and nurses, a few American 


ladies, and the Filipino laborers of Corregidor led by Civil 
Engineer Castro. 

The ceremonies were solemn,- indeed, to me more solemn 
than those of my first inauguration, despite the fact that at 
that historic event of November 15, 1935, a brilliant and 
distinguished audience had assembled in full force. 

On this my second inauguration, there was no adornment 
but the American and Filipino flags flying on either side of 
my chair, and before me only a limited audience. Yet, once 
again I say, it was more solemn than my first inauguration — 
nay, it was dramatic. 

The Government to be inaugurated faced a life and death 
struggle. In 1935, my inaugural address was concerned with 
policies and plans for the future, to be carried out under 
the reign of peace,- emphasis was laid upon the gratitude 
of the Filipino people for the boon they had received 
from the hands of the United States in the establishment 
of the Commonwealth and in the assurance that by 1946 
that government would be succeeded by an independent 
Philippine Republic. Those expressions of gratitude were 
now being put to the crucial test. And we had true and 
kept the faith. The Government, our Army, our people all 
over the Philippines, even to the farthest corner, were now 
giving testimony of the reality of those expressions by their 
suffering, their losses, and with their lives. 

Chief Justice Abad Santos administered the oath of 
office and I felt the burden of my new responsibility to be 
incomparably heavier than when confronted only with 


economic, social, and to a certain extent, political, problems. 
These, although enough to test the capacity of men better 
qualified than I was, now seemed to have passed into 
insignificance as compared with the one single problem lying 
ahead — war and war only, to face with required fortitude, 
determination and courage far beyond what I had been given 
by my Creator while in the womb of my mother. 

After taking the oath, I delivered the following address: 

"On November 15, 1935, I took my oath of office as 
first President of the Philippines under the most favorable 
auspices. The Philippines was at peace and the Filipino people 
were happy and contented. At the inaugural ceremonies held 
in the city of Manila, there were present high dignitaries of 
the Government of the United States, and a vast multitude 
of Filipinos deeply grateful to America and thrilled with the 
vision of a bright future. 

"Today I am assuming for the second time the duties of 
the Presidency under entirely different conditions. We 
are in the grip of war, and the seat of the government has 
been temporarily transferred from the city of Manila to a 
place in close proximity to the headquarters of our armed 
forces, where I am in constant touch with General Douglas 
MacArthur. All around us enemy bombs are dropping and 
anti-aircraft guns are roaring. In defenseless cities and towns 
air raids are killing women and children and destroying 
century-old churches, monasteries, and schools. 

"Six years ago, there was every reason to believe that the 
Filipino people would be able to prepare themselves for 


independence in peace and without hindrance. In my first 
inaugural address, I outlined a program intended to lay the 
foundations for a government that will, in the language of our 
Constitution, promote the general welfare and secure to the 
Filipino people and their posterity 'the blessing of independence 
under a regime of justice, liberty, and democracy' 

"Our task of nation-building was in progress when 
suddenly, on December 8, 1941, the Philippines became the 
victim of wanton aggression. We are resisting this aggression 
with everything that we have. Our soldiers, American and 
Filipino, under the leadership of General Douglas MacArthur, 
one of the greatest soldiers of out times, are fighting on all 
fronts with gallantry and heroism that will go down in history. 
In the face of frequent air raids which are causing so much 
death, suffering, and destruction, our civilian population are 
maintaining their morale. Despite the enemy's temporary 
superiority in the air and on land and sea, we have been able 
check the rapid advance of the invading armies. America and 
the Philippines may well be proud of the heroic struggle that 
our forces are putting up against the invader. 

"At the present time we have but one task — to fight with 
America for America and the Philippines. To this task we shall 
devote all our resources in men and materials. Ours is a great 
cause. We are fighting for human liberty and justice, for those 
principles of individual freedom which we all cherish without 
which life would not be worth living. Indeed, we are fighting 
for our own independence, these liberties and these freedoms, 
to banish fear and want among all peoples, and to establish a 


reign of justice for all the world, that we are sacrificing our lives 
an all that we possess. The war may be long-drawn and hard- 
fought, but with the determination of freedom-loving peoples 
everywhere to stamp out the rule of violence and terrorism from 
the face of the earth, I am absolutely convinced that final and 
complete victory will be ours. 

"Soon after the outbreak of the war, I received a message 
from the President Roosevelt expressing admiration for the 
gallantry of our soldiers and the courageous stand of our 
civilian population. Yesterday, the President of the United 
States issued the proclamation which, I am sure, will hearten 
our fighting men and thrill their soul of every American and 
Filipino in this land. This is the proclamation: 

'"News of your gallant struggle against the Japanese 
aggressor has elicited the profound admiration of every 
American. As President of the United States, I know that 
I speak for all our people on this solemn occasion. The 
resources of the United States, of the British Empire, of the 
Netherland East Indies, and the Chinese Republic have been 
dedicated by their people to the utter and complete defeat of 
the Japanese War Lords. In this great struggle of the Pacific 
the loyal Americans of the Philippine Islands are called upon 
to play a crucial role. They have played, and they are playing 
tonight, their part with the greatest gallantry. As President 
I wish to express to them my feeling of sincere admiration 
for the fight they are now making. The people of the United 
States will never forget what the people of the Philippine 
Islands are doing these days and will do in the days to come. 


I give to the people of the Philippines my solemn pledge 
that their freedom will be redeemed and their independence 
established and protected. The entire resources in men and 
materials of the United States stands behind that pledge. It 
is not for me or for the people of this country to tell you 
where your duty lies. We are engaged in a great and common 
cause. I count on every Philippine man, woman and child to 
this duty. We will do ours. I give you this message from the 
Navy: the Navy Department tonight announces the Japanese 
Government is circulating rumors for the obvious purpose of 
persuading the United States to disclose the location and 
intentions of the American Pacific Fleets. It is obvious that 
these rumors are intended for, and directed at, the Philippine 
Islands. The Philippines may rest assured that while the 
Untied States Navy will not be tricked into disclosing vital 
information, the fleet is not idle. The United States Navy is 
following an intensive and well-planned campaign against 
Japanese forces which will result in positive assistance to the 
defense of the Philippine Islands.' 

"My heart, and I know the hearts of all American and 
Filipinos in this country, are filled with gratitude for the 
reassuring words of the President of the Untied States. My 
answer, our answer, to him is that every man, woman, and 
child in the Philippines will do his duty. No matter what 
suffering and sacrifices this war may impose upon us we 
shall stand by America with undaunted spirit, for we know 
that upon the outcome of this war depend the happiness, 
liberty, and security not only of this generation but of the 


generations yet unborn. 

"Mr. High Commissioner, may I ask you to convey to the 
President of the Unites States our profound gratitude for the 
noble sentiments expressed in his proclamation. The Filipino 
people are particularly grateful for his abiding interest in our 
welfare and for his pledge to assure and protect our freedom 
and independence. 

"General MacArthur, there are no words in any language 
that can express to you the deep gratitude of the Filipino 
people and my own for your devotion to our cause, the 
defense of our country, and the safety of our population. 
I trust that the time will come when we may express this 
sentiment to you in a more appropriate manner. 

"To all American in the Philippines, soldiers and civilians 
alike, I want to say that our common ordeal has fused our 
hearts in a single purpose and an everlasting affection. 

"My fellow-countrymen, this is the most momentous 
period of our history. As we face the grim realities of war, 
let us rededicate ourselves to the great principles of freedom 
and democracy for which our forefathers fought and died. 
The present war is being fought for these same principles. It 
demands from us courage, determination, and unity of action. 
In taking my oath of office, I make the pledge for myself, 
my government, and my people, to stand by America and 
fight with her until victory is won. I am resolved, whatever 
the consequences to myself, faithfully to fulfill this pledge. I 
humbly invoke the help of Almighty God that I may have the 
wisdom and fortitude to carry out this solemn obligation." 


Then the United States High Commissioner read a 
congratulatory message from President Roosevelt which had 
been sent some time before the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

After this, General MacArthur made a few remarks which 
were deeply felt by all present. 

After the inauguration there was shaking of hands — 
strong, expressive, significant, hand-clasps. But none dared 
utter the word "congratulations." I hope not one of those 
present pitied me at that moment. I could not have borne it. 
Instead, the shaking of hands and the expression of their faces 
evinced confidence which was encouraging and inspiring. 
God knows I needed it. 

On December 31st General MacArthur reported that his 
troops had fallen back to a line reaching within thirty miles 
from Manila. On the north our forces had readjusted and 
shortened their lines. 

On this same day the National Treasurer, Mr. Apolinario 
S. de Leon, came with more paper currency and reported 
that Pio Pedrosa, one of the most trusted, efficient, and loyal 
servants of the Government, had been seriously wounded on 
the occasion of the bombing of the Treasury. With Treasurer 
de Leon came Mr. Franco, the Chief Electrician of the Bureau 
of Public Works, with a recording apparatus to make a record 
of the inaugural address which was to be broadcast from 
Manila, for Corregidor did not as yet have a broadcasting 

By eight o'clock in the evening of January 1 st , the aide 
of General MacArthur came on behalf of the General to 


request that I join him at nine o'clock that same evening 
that at the house he was occupying not very far from the 
tunnel. At the appointed time I found there the General, his 
Chief of Staff, Major General Sutherland, the Chief of the 
Intelligence Service, Colonel Willoughby, and the United 
States High Commissioner, Mr. Sayre. At once it was 
evident that something serious was in the offing. General 
MacArthur read aloud to those present a telegram which 
he had received from Washington to the effect that if my 
evacuation could possibly be accomplished, I should be 
taken to Washington and function there as the head of the 
Commonwealth Government in exile and as the symbol of 
the redemption of the Philippines. The telegram further 
stated that if I was willing to be evacuated and in the opinion 
of General MacArthur this was feasible, the General should 
effect it with the best means available to him or with the 
assistance of the Navy. Then General MacArthur read his 
proposed answer in which he stated that my evacuation was 
too hazardous to be attempted,- that my departure would 
undoubtedly be followed by the collapse of the will to fight 
on the part of the Filipinos,- that exclusive of the Air Corps 
which had no planes, there were only about 7,000 American 
combat troops, the rest being Filipinos. The telegram ended 
with a statement that both Mr. Sayre and I, having been 
informed of the contents of General MacArthur's answer, 
had expressed our concurrence. 

There was a profound silence after the reading of the 
telegrams, the one received and the one to be sent. After a 


pause, I told General MacArthur that before giving assent to 
his proposed answer, I would have to lay the matter before 
my War Cabinet, discuss it with them and then make my 
own decision. At once there assembled in conference Vice- 
President Osmefia, Chief Justice and Acting Secretary of 
Finance Jose Abad Santos, Acting Secretary of National 
Defense and Public Works and Communications General 
Basilio Valdes, and my unofficial adviser, Major Manuel 
Roxas. I informed them fully of the contents of the telegram 
received form Washington, but said nothing of the answer 
proposed by General MacArthur. 

The unanimous opinion of the Cabinet was that the 
invitation to evacuate to the United States should be 
accepted if it could be done without serious risk to my life, 
for they thought that the Filipino people would want me to 
be saved from falling into the hands of the enemy or from 
being killed. Then, and without referring to the statements 
made by General MacArthur in his proposed telegram, I 
asked them if they did not think that my departure at that 
time would dishearten the Philippine Army and weaken 
their determination to fight. The Cabinet thought just the 
contrary, that is, if the Filipino generals were informed of 
the reason for my departure and especially if they could be 
assured that my trip to America would mean that timely 
arrival of help from the United States, then the effect of 
my trip upon the morale of the Philippine Army would be 
good. In any event, the Cabinet opined that the important 
thing to determine was the feasibility of my evacuation, that 


if this could be done in relative safety, the Filipino generals 
and their commands would feel strongly in favor of it. My 
colleagues were sure that the Army shared the people's desire 
to have the head of their government and their leader where 
he would be free from the encircling grip of the enemy. Major 
Roxas offered to go to Bataan and explain the whole thing 
to the Philippine Army. Then they asked me the opinion 
of General MacArthur as to the hazards of the trip. I told 
what General MacArthur stated in his proposed answer to 
Washington regarding this matter. Whereupon the Cabinet 
decided that I should refuse to make the trip for they were 
very hopeful that before Bataan and Corregidor were forced 
to surrender, sufficient help would come for the American 
and Filipino forces to take the offensive and drive the enemy 
out of the land. It should be borne in mind that the general 
belief among the Filipinos, both civilians and soldiers, was 
that Bataan and Corregidor had sufficient supplies of food 
and ammunition to resist six month's siege, and few doubted 
that within the time America would be in command of the 
seas and, therefore, able to send all the help necessary to beat 
back the invading army. For my part, I knew that at that time 
my evacuation to America could be made in comparative 
safety. Full control by the Japanese of the sea-lanes between 
Manila and Australia had not yet been established. I could 
have left on a surface ship from Corregidor to Mindanao, 
traveling at night. From Mindanao I could have flown 
to Australia, making the regulator stops, for the airports 
in Celebes, Borneo, and the Dutch East Indies had not as 


yet been taken over by the enemy. As an alternative plan 
I could then have gone in a submarine to Panay and from 
Panay to Mindanao on a surface boat and from Mindanao to 
Australia in one continuous flight on a bomber as I did two 
months later. But neither to my War Cabinet nor to General 
MacArthur did I express this thought. I kept it to myself. 

Moreover, I was doubtful if help could come in time even 
with my presence in America. To me it was clear that if I 
accepted the invitation to evacuate there would only be one 
certain result — my safety and that of my family. Bearing in 
mind the proposed answer of General MacArthur, I saw that 
the Supreme Commander of the USAFFE was convinced of 
the need of my presence in Corregidor at that time, and I 
felt strongly that it was my duty to defer to his judgment. 
There was thus but one course for me to take. In the presence 
of the Cabinet I dicated the following letter to General 

I have carefully considered the telegram of General 
Marshall... I have come to the conclusion that in so far as 
the suggested trip to the United States is concerned, I have 
no preference. I am willing to do what the Government of 
United Sates may think will be more helpful for the successful 
prosecution of the war. My immediate concern is to secure 
prompt and adequate help from the Untied States, because 
our soldiers at the front and the Filipino people in general 
have placed their trust in this indispensable help. ... 

It will be seen from the above letter that I did not directly 
decline the offer to evacuate. I felt the decision on this 


matter in the hands of the Government in Washington, but I 
did emphatically state that my only concern was to win the 
war and I was ready to do anything that Washington might 
consider necessary to achieve this end. I did stress, however, 
the need for immediate relief. 

My letter to General MacArthur was transmitted verbatim 
to the War Department. With this addition, he sent his 
telegram exactly as he had read it to me. 

On January 2nd, General MacArthur informed me that 
the withdrawal of our forces to Bataan would be successfully 
completed in a day or two at that he thought that I should 
address a proclamation to the Filipino Soldiers. I agreed that 
that was a magnificent idea and we discussed the question 
of making use of the proclamation of the President of the 
Unites States to the people of the Philippines. By this time, 
I had noticed that President Roosevelt had used the words 
"your independence will be redeemed" (Italics mine), and I asked 
General MacArthur if he thought that the word "redeemed" 
had been used advisedly to indicate that the President had 
already come to the conclusion that the Philippines was 
lost as no possible help could reach us on time to save our 
situation. The General, while not expressing a positive 
opinion, suggested the possibility that the transmission of 
the presidential message might have been garbled. I decided 
that being in doubt as to the exact intent of the presidential 
language, I should not quote the President literally. So I used 
the word "preserved" instead of "redeemed", which, while 
not necessarily implying a promise of timely succor, could 


not be construed as meaning that all hope for help must be 
abandoned. Such a construction might weaken the fighting 
spirit of the men in the front. 

On the 3rd of January, I issued the following proclamation: 

The people of America and your own countrymen have been thrilled by the 
gallantry with which you have been defending our country. I am grateful and 
proud for the resistance you have offered against such tremendous odds. You 
have performed deeds of heroism and valor which will live in the history of 
these stirring days. The service that you are rendering to your people and 
your country, to say the least, is the equal of that rendered by our fathers 
who fought and died in the battles for our liberty. 

The President of the United States, speaking for the Government and 
people of America, in a recent proclamation addressed to the people of 
the Philippines, solemnly pledged that the freedom of our country will 
be preserved and our independence protected. He asserted that behind 
that pledge stood all the resources of America in men and materials. You 
are, therefore, fighting with America because America is fighting for our 
freedom. Our salvation will depend upon the victory of American and 
Filipino arms. 

America will not abandon us. Her help will not be delayed. The 
enemy's temporary superiority in the air, on land and on sea cannot 
last much longer. We must resist further advance of the enemy until 
assistance arrives and I trust it will be soon. The outcome of the battle 
of the Philippines will depend in very large measure on your firm and 
unyielding resistance. 


I am aware of your sufferings, your privations, your sacrifices, and the 
dangers to which you are exposed. All these weigh heavily upon my 
mind, but I am consoled by the fact that I am sharing with you your trials 
and tribulations. Indeed, right now bombs are falling near me just as they 
must fall around you. But we cannot allow them either to daunt our spirit 
or weaken our determination to continue fighting to the bitter end. We 
must stand by our plighted word, by the loyalty that we have pledged to 
America, and by our devotion to freedom, democracy, and our liberty. 
We are fighting that the Filipino people may be the masters of their own 
destiny and that every Filipino not only of this generation but of the 
generations to come may be able to live in peace and tranquility in the 
full enjoyment of liberty and freedom. Your duty — our duty — is to fight 
and resist until the invader is driven from our land. You must not give 
up a foot of ground when the battle joins. You must hold in place — and 
hold — and hold. 

On January 6th, at the usual time of our conference, General 
MacArthur told me that the withdrawal of our forces in 
Bataan had been successfully completed without any serious 
loss either of life or material. Later in my conversation with 
Americans and Filipinos in command of our retreating forces, 
I formed the opinion that in this retreat General MacArthur 
out-maneuvered and outwitted the Japanese generalship. 
In that retreat, too, the men in command in the front lines 
proved their mettle and their ability to carry out the orders 
of the Supreme Commander. In this conference, General 
MacArthur also informed me that he was going to Bataan with 
the idea of staying there as long as it might be necessary. With 


great diffidence and as much diplomacy as I was capable of, I 
voiced the general feeling among Americans and Filipinos in 
Corregidor that General MacArthur should not take chances 
and risk his life, for if he were lost the consequences to the 
morale of the fighting mean would be incalculable. For the 
first time, I repeated to General MacArthur the story told me 
by his orderly how he, the General, had almost lost his life in 
the first Japanese bombardment of Corregidor's top-side. In 
a rather light vain General MacArthur answered: " The Japs 
have not as yet fabricated the bomb with my name in it," and 
then more seriously, he said, "Of course, I understand what 
you mean and I also know that I have no right to gamble 
with my life, but it is absolutely necessary that at the right 
time the Supreme Commander should take these chances 
because of the effect all down the line, for when they see the 
man at the top risking his life, the man at the bottom says, 'I 
guess if the old man can take it, I can take it, too.'" 

I asked General MacArthur to take with him Major Roxas 
so that Roxas might talk to the Filipino generals, 

"Not this time," the General answered, "for I do not know 
as yet exactly the situation at the front, and since Roxas is 
not a trained and veteran soldier, the trip might be too much 
for him. When the situation is stabilized, it might be the 
occasion for sending Roxas." 

The following day, General MacArthur, with his staff 
visited the front, and when we met again he told me that 
there was no reason for immediate worry,- that he felt 
confident that he could hold Bataan and Corregidor for 


several months without outside help,- that the morale of our 
forces was high,- that those Filipino reservists who had only 
had five and a half month's training, had become veteran in 
less than one month actual fighting against a determined 
and superior force. Although this report could not be more 
encouraging, it plainly implied that we could not stem 
the flood of Japanese assault indefinitely. More and more I 
realized what would be the inevitable result unless help from 
America was forthcoming. I could no longer take the same 
fatalistic mental attitude that I was able to assume in the first 
days of my stay in Corregidor. I began to worry about the 
soldiers at the front. In the Philippine Army there were the 
best of the youth of my country, the sons of the rich and 
influential Filipino families, partaking equally with the sons 
of the lowliest, in the hardships and the casualties of the war. 
As days passed by, with the bombs dropping on Corregidor 
or not, this thought weighed more heavily upon my mind — 
and my conscience. After all, although the Tydings-McDuffie 
Act or Independence Law, provided that during the transition 
period of the Government of the Commonwealth, the 
President of the United States could muster into the service 
of the Federal Government all the organized forces of the 
Commonwealth, the Philippine Army had been of my own 
creation. Neither President Roosevelt nor any department 
of his government had made the slightest suggestion to me 
that I create an army to fight with America for America and 
the Philippines while the American flag was flying over the 
Islands. Had I not created the Philippine Army, only the 


Philippine Scouts, a part of the United States Army and the 
Philippine Constabulary under my command, with a limited 
number of officers and men, would have been subject to call 
by the President of the United States when war broke out. 
Therefore it was evidently my responsibility to God and my 
people that thousands of my countrymen would die and the 
survivor perhaps be taken as prisoners of war, if, because of 
some insurmountable obstacle, the aid from America could 
not arrive on time. Not only this but it was also upon my 
initiative that the whole Filipino people had rallied to the 
standard of America and offered everything they had in 
manpower and resources in defense of the American flag. 
Of course, I knew that this was our duty - a duty imposed 
by our gratitude to America and our sworn loyalty to her. 
And I also knew that the Filipino people felt this double 
obligation as strongly as I did. But, withal, I was staggered 
by the immensity of the sacrifice. To find out how the men 
at the front felt, I determined to send January 10th, the Chief 
of Staff of the Philippine Army and Acting Secretary of 
National Defense, General Valdes, accompanied by my aide, 
Colonel Nieto, to visit our forces in Bataan and report to me 
the situation. They came back on the night of the 1 1th and 
spoke in enthusiastic terms of the prevailing spirit among our 
forces. They had seen all the command posts of the Filipino 
generals, the headquarters of the Philippine Army and also 
conferred with some subordinate officers. They failed to 
see General Wainwright at his headquarters because he 
was inspecting the front lines. From high and low among 


the Filipinos in Bataan, General Valdes received assurance 
of their determination to fight on and of their confidence in 
beating the Japanese if they could only have protection from 
the air. 

When General MacArthur came to see me on the morning 
of the 1 2th, I communicated to him the report given to me by 
General Valdes and Colonel Nieto, emphasizing the evident 
expectation of our people at the front that help especially in 
airplanes would come from America. 

Purely on my own responsibility I telegraph President 
Roosevelt on January 1 3th, expressing my belief and desire 
that the whole force of America should be directed first 
against Japan in the Far East. I sensed that even among the 
American officers who were in Corregidor this was the 
general opinion and wish, although no one would express 
his opinion. 

On January 15th, the Japanese bombed Corregidor's 
middle-side for more than one hour starting 1 : 30 P.M. 

After the visit made by General Valdes to the front, my eldest 
daughter, Maria began asking my permission to go the front and 
visit "our boys." She wanted to know whether the Christmas 
gifts which she and her friends had sent them from Manila had 
safely reached their destination,- and furthermore, she wanted 
to visit them in my name since due to my ill health and physical 
weakness I was unable to make the trip. She had already found 
something to do in the tunnel. She and her sister had offered 
their services to the chief nurse and were making the beds for 
the patients and also folding gauze for the operating room. 


But she was not satisfied with this. She insisted that she should 
visit the front. I would not answer "no" for I did not wish to 
weaken her will to serve the cause, nor would I say "yes" for I 
knew that her mother, already worried about my health, would 
spend the most painful hours of supreme anxiety while she was 
at the front. So I told her that the matter had to be submitted 
to General MacArthur whose permission was necessary for her 
to go to Bataan. When General MacArthur came to see me, I 
told him the whole story and he, of course, said that under no 
circumstances would he allow my daughter to go to Bataan. We 
agreed, however, that I should not disappoint her by telling her 
plainly what the General said,- so I informed Maria that General 
MacArthur felt that she had to wait until the situation became 
more normal at the front and there then might come a time 
when he would allow her to go. Day after day, my daughter 
would ask me if General MacArthur had decided definitely one 
way or another about her trip. I procrastinated. 

Meantime, General Francisco and General De Jesus had 
been in Corregidor to see me at my request. They told me 
that the amount of rice given to the Filipino troops was 
insufficient and that if they had to be fed with only that 
amount of rations they would not be able to endure the 
fatigue of day and night engagements. They called my 
attention to the fact that every officer and man not seriously 
sick or wounded was continuously in the line without even 
temporary relief, for we had no reserves. They also told me 
of the increasingly grim determination on the part of our 
men to fight as they learned of the abuses and atrocities 


committed by the Japanese soldiers, especially the raping 
of Filipino women. "If we only had airplanes, we would lick 
these Japs in short order, Mr. President," they said. I told 
General De Jesus, our Chief of the Intelligence Division, to 
find the Governor and Assemblyman from Bataan and send 
them to me so that I might instruct them to cooperate with 
the military authorities in organizing the fishermen of the 
province to provide fish for the soldiers. The large number 
of civilians from Pampanga and Bataan who came inside the 
lines greatly increased the difficulties of the food supply. 

At this conference General Francisco delivered to me the 
following telegram from the Constabulary Commander in 
Negros Oriental: 

Civilian military situation Negros Oriental excellent. About fifty thousand 
civilians of military age ready for induction into the Army. Civil activities 
being carried on as usual. Morale of people very high. Entire population 
very happy to receive the news that the President is well and safe. 

After my conference with the above cited Filipino generals, 
I called in the Cabinet to discuss with them the food situation 
in Bataan and see if we could do something about it to help 
the Army. Vice-President Osmena told me that was plenty 
of food in Cebu, and Major Roxas, on his part, said that there 
was plenty of food in Capiz and Iloilo, but the question was 
how to bring these supplies to Bataan. I suggested that there 
was one Coast Guard vessel in Mariveles, the Banabaw, which 
we might send to Capiz, which was nearer to Corregidor 


than Cebu. I sent right away for the captain of the Banabaw, 
but he reported that the ship was not ready to sail and that it 
would take at least two days to prepare for sea. Then Major 
Roxas informed me that the S.S. Lecjaspi, a merchant marine 
ship which was engaged in inter-island traffic before the war, 
was available, and he suggested that I send for the captain 
and ask him to go to Capiz and get supplies. I discussed the 
matter with General MacArthur. To him I repeated what 
General Francisco and General De Jesus had said to me 
about the rice situation and asked him whether he had any 
objection to my discussing this matter with the captain of 
the S.S. Legaspi. General MacArthur was so happy to think 
that we might be able to bring food from the Visayan Island 
that he authorized me to tell the captain of the Legaspi that 
if he made the trip, he would compensate him and all the 
sailors generously, and moreover, would decorate them on 
their return. 

I sent for the captain and another Filipino officer who 
was in charge of a small boat, also in Mariveles, but which 
was in no shape to make a voyage. They came to see me 
for the first time on January 20th. The name of the captain 
was Lino Conejero. I told them that it was in their hands 
to save our soldiers in Bataan, and although I knew the trip 
from Corregidor to Capiz and back was most hazardous, I 
did not hesitate to appeal to their patriotism in the confident 
expectation that they would not hesitate to render this service. 
Captain Conejero, in the most casual manner, answered me 
without hesitation: 


"Mr. President, all you have to do is to give the order 
and I will leave as soon as I can." Then I told him of what 
General MacArthur had promised to do for them. And on 
my part, I also offered to reward them from the funds of the 
Government of Commonwealth with a full month's salary to 
each officer and sailor of the ship. Then I took them myself 
in the headquarters of General MacArthur to inform the 
General of the result of my conference with them. General 
MacArthur, with undisguised emotion, shook hands with the 
captain and the first officer, and in his usual appealing style 
said a few words which almost brought tears to the eyes of 
these men of the sea. On the morning of the 2 1 st, I again saw 
the Captain Conejero and gave him my final instructions to 
the Governor of Capiz. We proceeded at once to telegraph 
the governors of Iloilo and Capiz to turn to and help the 
Army to get all possible rice and other food supplies which 
could be assembled by the time the S.S. Legaspi arrived in 
Capiz. General MacArthur, on his part, telegraph General 
Chynoweth giving him full instructions as to what should 
be done. I felt very much encouraged the whole day, and my 
spirits were so high that in the afternoon I was strong enough 
to visit the coast artillery batteries of Corregidor. I invited my 
daughter to accompany me and we saw some of the batteries 
manned by Philippine Scouts and Philippine Army soldiers. 
We made the trip in one of the Army cars accompanied by 
an American officer designated by General Moore, and by a 
Filipino captain who was in artillery. With me were General 
Valdes, my daughter, and General Nieto. The dust on the 


road was so thick that not even by closing the windows of 
the car could we be free on it. Some of the bombs had done 
so much damage to the road that attempts at repair had not 
improved it much. The sight of these soldiers practically 
unprotected from air attack broke my heart, and I could 
only say a few words to them: "Boys, I am proud of you. Our 
people will forever be grateful for your gallant defense. God 
bless and keep you." On my return on the tunnel, I coughed 
more than ever before, and on the following day I had a 
severe attack of asthma with spasmodic coughing which left 
me breathless and almost suffocated. By midnight, they had 
to give me a dose of morphine. I also had a very high fever. 
On January 23rd, I had another severe attack which required 
another injection of morphine. In the afternoon they took 
me out of the hospital in an ambulance to a cottage near the 
one where General MacArthur slept at night with his wife 
and son. The following day I was taken back to the tunnel 
where I had another attack in the afternoon, following 
which I was again carried to the house. In order that in the 
daytime I might have to lie in bed near the tunnel, a tent was 
constructed for me at the rear end of the hospital outside the 
tunnel, so that from the January 26th until I left Corregidor 
this tent became my living and sleeping quarters. 




N January 28th a radio broadcast from Tokyo 
gleefully announced that a new government 
had been established in the Philippines, and 
that it had pledged its adherence to Japan's 

Greater East Asia Co-prosperity Sphere Policy. The broadcast 
also gave the names of the Filipinos who were supposed to 
constitute this new government. The effect of this broadcast 
among Americans on Corregidor, including the United States 
High Commissioner, members of his staff, and some of the 
officers of the United States Army, was very bad. Filipino 
officers who came to see me from Bataan later in the day 
were eager to find out what I thought of the announcement 
made by Tokyo. Having known for many years the men 
who were alleged to constitute this new government and 
having tested during that time on many occasions their 
loyalty to the United States as well as their personal loyalty 
to me, I felt certain that whether the creation of this new 
government was a fact or not, if the men who constituted it 
were those mentioned in the radio broadcast, they could be 
depended upon under any and all circumstances to commit 
no act of disloyalty, either to America, to the Philippines, 
or to me, the head of their government. So I told the young 
Filipino officers from Bataan that there was nothing to fear 


from those whom we had left in Manila, and I asked them 
to return at once and communicate this information to their 
commanders. General MacArthur, in our conference that 
day, was also reassured by me, although I did not find him 
as skeptical as High Commissioner Sayre who had come to 
ask me if I would not give out a statement repudiating the 
action of those Filipinos and reminding them that the day of 
reckoning was not far away. I told High Commissioner Sayre 
that I would not take any such statement, first, because I was 
sure of my men,- second, because it seemed to me ridiculous 
that in my powerless situation, I should adopt a threatening 
role. Moreover, knowing the psychology of my people, I felt 
that if those men had been hesitating in the face of a situation 
that would try men's souls, any evidence of my faith in their 
loyalty would in itself serve to fortify their determination not 
to betray me,- whereas, any indication that I considered them 
lost to the cause and practically traitors, would perhaps force 
them to go over to the Japanese. I therefore emphatically 
refused to adopt the suggestion of High Commissioner Sayre, 
and I told him that considered the matter closed. However, 
fearing the effect in the outside world of Tokyo's broadcast, 
I proceeded at once to write a letter to General MacArthur, 
asking him that some parts of it be given the widest possible 
publicity. This is what I wanted publicized: 

I have been mortified by the radio broadcast from Tokyo asserting that a new 
government has been established in the Philippines, which government has 
pledged its conformity with Japans New East Asia Policy. 


I know what the real sentiments of my people are and I am certain that 
their stand is not changed despite the military reverses of our forces. 
I am likewise convinced of the loyalty of the men who have accepted 
positions in the so-called new government. 

I want you, therefore, to give publicity to the following statement: "The 
determination of the Filipino people to continue fighting side by side with 
the United States until victory is won has in no way been weakened by 
the temporary reverses suffered by our arms. We are convinced that our 
sacrifices will be crowned with victory in the end and in that conviction 
we shall continue to resist the enemy with all our might." 

Japanese military forces are occupying sections of the Philippines 
comprising only one third of our territory. In the remaining areas 
constitutional government is still in operation under my authority. 

I have no direct information concerning the veracity of the news broadcast 
from Tokyo that a Commission composed of some well-known Filipinos 
has been recently organized in Manila to take charge of certain functions 
of civil government. The organization of such a commission, if true, can 
have no political significance not only because it is charged merely with 
purely administrative functions but also because the acquiescence by 
its members to serve on the Commission was evidently for the purpose 
of safeguarding the welfare of the civilian population and can, in no 
way, reflect the sentiments of the Filipinos towards the enemy. Such 
sentiments are still those I have repeatedly expressed in the past: loyalty 
to America and resolute resistance against the invasion of our territory 
and liberties. 


The foregoing statement was publicized in the Philippines 
both by printed leaflets and radio broadcasts, and it had 
an immediate reassuring effect so far as the Filipinos were 
concerned, both in the occupied and the unoccupied 

In my letter to General MacArthur I also made certain 
statements which were intended not so much for General 
MacArthur as for the President of the United States. 

I said in part: 

At the same time I am going to open my mind and my heart to you 
without attempting to hide anything. 

We are before the bar of history and God only knows if this is the last 
time that my voice will be heard before going to my grave. 

My loyalty and the loyalty of the Filipino people to America has been 
proven beyond question. Now we are fighting by her side under your 
command despite overwhelming odds. But, it seems to me questionable 
whether any government has the right to demand loyalty from its citizens 
beyond its willingness or ability to render actual protection. 

This war is not of our making. . . 

Despite all this, we never hesitated for a moment in our stand. 

We decided to fight by your side and we have done the best we could 
and we are still doing as much as could be expected from us under the 


circumstances. But how long are we going to be left alone? Has it already 
been decided in Washington that the Philippine front is of no importance 
as far as the final result of the war is concerned and that, therefore, no 
help can be expected here in the immediate future, or at least before 
the power of resistance is exhausted? If so, I want to know, because I 
have my own responsibility to my countrymen whom, as President of 
the Commonwealth, I have led into a complete war effort. I am greatly 
concerned as well regarding the soldiers I have called to the colors and 
who are now manning the firing line. I want to decide in my own mind 
whether there is justification for allowing all these men to be killed when 
for the final outcome of the war the shedding of their blood may be 
wholly unnecessary. It seems that Washington does not fully realize our 
situation nor the feelings which the apparent neglect of our safety and 
welfare has engendered in the heart of the people here. . . 

In reference to the men who have accepted position in the commission 
established by the Japanese, every one of them wanted to come to 
Corregidor, but you told me that there was no room for them here. They 
are not "quislings." The "quislings" are the men who betray their country 
to the enemy. These men did what they have been asked to do, while 
they were free, under the protection of their government. Today they 
are virtually prisoners of the enemy. I am sure they are only doing what 
they think is their duty. They are not traitors. They are the victims of the 
adverse fortunes of war and I am sure they have no choice. Besides, it is 
most probable that they accepted their positions in order to safeguard 
the welfare of the civilian populations in the occupied areas. I think, 
under the circumstances, America should look upon their situation 
sympathetically and understandingly. 


I am confident that you will understand my anxiety about the long- 
awaited reinforcements and trust you will again urge Washington insure 
their early arrival. 

Without delay, President Roosevelt answered my letter to 
General MacArthur in a radiogram addressed directly to me 
as follows. 

I have perused your message to General MacArthur and I appreciate 
completely your position. I am fully sensible of the profundity and 
honesty of your feelings with reference to your unavoidable obligations 
to your fellow-countrymen and I solemnly state that I would never ask 
of you and them any sacrifice that I believe without hope in order to 
further our attainment of the goal towards which we are all pressing. I 
desire, nevertheless, to emphasize as strongly as possible that the superb 
defense of our soldiers in Bataan is a definite contribution in bringing 
about an eventual and complete overwhelming of the enemy in the Far 
East. The deficiency which now exist in our offensive weapons are the 
natural results of the policies of peaceful nations such as the Philippines 
and the United States who without warning are attacked by despotic 
nations which have spent years in preparing for such action. Early 
reverse, hardships and pain are the price that democracy must pay under 
such conditions. However, I have dedicated to the accomplishment of 
final victory every man, every dollar and every material sinew of this 
nation,- and this determination to attain victory necessarily includes as 
an objective the restoring of tranquility and peace to the Philippines 
and its return to such government as its people may themselves choose. 


Although I cannot at this time state the day that help will arrive in the 
Philippines, I can assure you that every vessel available is bearing to 
the southwest Pacific the strength that will eventually crush the enemy 
and liberate your native land. Vessels in that vicinity have been filled 
with cargo of necessary supplies and have been dispatched to Manila. 
Our arms, together with those of our allies, have dealt heavy blows to 
enemy transport and naval vessels and are most certainly retarding his 
movement to the south. By the trans-African route and lately by the 
Pacific route our heavy bombers are each day joining General Wavell's 
command. A continuous stream of fighter and pursuit planes is traversing 
the Pacific,- already ten squadrons of the foregoing types are ready for 
combat in the South Pacific area. Extensive arrival of troops are being 
guarded by adequate protective elements of our Navy. The heroes of 
Bataan are effectively assisting by gaining invaluable time, and time is the 
vital factor in reinforcing our military strength in this theater of war. 

Words are inadequate to convey to you my esteem and appreciation 
for the totally magnificent showing of faithfulness, heroism and spirit 
of sacrifice that the Philippine people, under your superb guidance, 
have shown. They are maintaining the most glorious standard of all 
free people. 

Those parts of your message to General MacArthur which you request 
be brought to the attention of the world at large are being broadcast 
from Washington. Your speech and your actions will encourage not only 
your fellow-countrymen but all those throughout the world who are 
partners in the battle for democratic ideals and liberty in the right of 


The message of President Roosevelt was not only admirable 
in its form and substance but was evidently all that could be 
expected under the circumstances described by him. The 
human sympathy and understanding of this great man in the 
face of an almost intrusive radiogram from me, especially if 
contrasted with the attitude of other heads of government 
in dealing with people under their sway, could not be 
overestimated. Yet I must confess that my grave concern for 
the welfare and security of my people and the incalculable 
loss of life on the part of our soldiers was not put at rest. If I 
could only be sure that the Dutch East Indies and Singapore 
would not hold out long enough to keep the sea-lanes open 
during the period which I felt certain the American and 
Filipinos in Bataan and on Corregidor would hold, then I felt 
that bombers, fighters and pursuit planes, and the troops to 
which the President's radiogram referred, would reach the 
Philippines in time for the Army of MacArthur to take the 
offensive and drive out the Japanese. But would Singapore 
and Java fight as long and as well as we were fighting? The 
destruction of the Prince of Wales and the Repulse right at the 
beginning of the war was a sinister revelation of the basic 
weakness of the defense of Singapore — lack of adequate 
air power. The easy gains which the Japanese were making 
through the supposedly impassable jungles of the Malay 
Peninsula (as was daily broadcast to us) raised increased 
doubts of the impregnability of Singapore, contrary to what 
we in the Far East had assumed to be the completeness 
of English fortifications. And it was clear to me that, if 


Singapore fell, the Dutch East Indies would be an easy prey 
to Japanese land, se and air forces, despite the fact that the 
whole American Asiatic Fleet had joined the Dutch East 
Indies fleet. 

With Singapore and the Dutch East Indies in the hands 
of the enemy, Bataan and Corregidor were doomed. That 
was the dreadful and horrible thought which haunted me 
day and night after receiving the foregoing message of 
the President of the United State. I did not conceal my 
serious misgivings from General MacArthur. But he would 
always retort: "I will bring you in triumph on the points of 
my bayonets to Manila." 

In the meantime my health was not improving. [I was 
ill and confined with tuberculosis when I went to the 
tunnels of Corregidor.] I was being carried in a wheel-chair 
in and out of the tunnel during the frequent air raids and 
bombardments. Rumors about the doubtful attitude of the 
Filipinos in the occupied territory, especially in Manila, were 
being circulated and these increased beyond expression my 
anxiety. One day when information regarding the situation 
in the Malay Peninsula and Singapore convinced me that the 
surrender of this English fortress was only a question of weeks 
at most, I told General MacArthur that I was not certain that 
my stay in Corregidor was of any practical value to either 
the defense of Bataan and Corregidor or to the maintenance 
of the morale of the civilian population. This, together with 
my rapidly declining health, caused me to feel that perhaps I 
would render better service to America and the Philippines if 


I went to Manila and allowed myself to be made a prisoner of 
war by the Japanese. [I wanted them to know I was not afraid 
and not even if it cost me life itself]. 

On February 6th, General Aguinaldo, in a radio broadcast 
addressed to General MacArthur, urged him to surrender in 
view of the futility of continuing to fight against superior 
enemy forces. Although I would not condemn in my own 
mind this attitude of Aguinaldo, despite the fact that he was 
my enemy, as an act of treason and for this reason refused to 
enter into a public controversy with him as was suggested 
to me by Commissioner Sayre, his actions at this reminded 
of his conduct under similar circumstances when he was the 
President of the Philippine Republic and Commander-in- 
Chief of its forces. It will be remembered that when General 
Aguinaldo was convinced of the superiority of the American 
forces, many years before, he had been willing to enter into 
negotiations with the American authorities in Manila on a 
basis other than independence. Recalling this incident, I 
also remembered that great Filipino character, Apolinario 
Mabini, and what he done even after he had been captured 
and was a prisoner of war in the hands of the American army. 
Mabini, a paralytic, refused to take the oath of allegiance 
even after he had been deported to Guam, and only took 
the oath when the whole people of the Philippines had 
accepted the sovereignty of the United States and expressed 
their willingness to cooperate in carrying out the policy of 
ultimate freedom propounded by the Untied States. 

I told General MacArthur my fear of the effect on our 


people, especially the less educated classes, of the promise of 
independence made by Premier Tojo in his speech before the 
Japanese Diet, wherein he said that Japan was ready to give the 
Filipinos "independence with honor." This promise which was 
used by Aguinaldo as further reason for urging the surrender 
of our forces might well have had the effect of weakening 
the Filipino leaders if they found the people in general to 
be won over to Tojo and Aguinaldo,- so I informed General 
MacArthur that I was seriously considering placing myself 
in the hands of the Japanese and defying them, in the belief 
that such action on my part would solidify the opposition of 
the Filipinos to any Japanese influence. General MacArthur 
told me that, in his opinion, that would be a mistake, that he 
thought the Japanese were too smart to make me a martyr, 
knowing as they did in so doing they would forever win the 
enmity and hatred of the Filipino people. He believed that 
the Japanese would allow me to go to Malacanan and would 
advertise this fact, but would allow no Filipino to get near 
me,- and that without my knowledge or consent they would 
give statements, as coming from me, telling the Filipinos that 
they should cooperate with Japan and advising the Filipino 
soldiers at the front to surrender and abandon the American 
forces. Moreover, General MacArthur said that he feared 
that my action might be misinterpreted abroad. To this last 
consideration I retorted at once that I was not interested in 
the judgment of outsiders so long as I was satisfied that I was 
acting in accordance with my duty as in conscience I saw 
it. The struggle on the part of the American and Filipino 


armies was heroic, but in a sense it was a futile one. It might 
even be questioned that the entire American army at that 
date if present could have defended the Islands against vast 
numbers of men, machines, material of the Japanese forces. 
However, his remarks as to what the Japanese might do did 
impress me. Knowing something of the Japanese, the views 
of General MacArthur seemed perfectly reasonable, so I told 
the General I would think more about the matter. 

After further consideration, I came to the conclusion that 
it might be an unwise thing for me to attempt to imitate 
Mabini. The Americans in those years long ago had dealt 
with the Filipino revolutionaries entirely above board. When 
they captured Mabini they did not conceal from the Filipino 
people the courageous stand of this patriot. Nor did they 
pretend that they were treating him as other than a prisoner 
of war. So Mabini died as the noble and great man that he 
was in the eyes of his countrymen and of the world. Whereas, 
in my case my sacrifice would not only have been in vain but 
might have carried with it my eternal dishonor, for it might 
not have been possible for any one but me and my Japanese 
jailer to have known or to furnish proofs of what I had done 
or been trying to do. 

There remained, however, what, in my opinion, was 
a larger question — the possibly useless sacrifice of the 
Philippine Army, and why shall I not say of the American 
Army as well, for my heart had gone out to those heroic 
men and women, officers, soldiers and nurses who, after all, 
were fighting in defense of my country at the same time 


that they were righting to maintain the honor of their flag. 
At last, I thought I found the key to the problem. I would 
ask the President of the United States to authorize me to 
issue a public manifesto asking the Government of the 
United States to grant immediate, complete and absolute 
independence to the Philippines,- that the neutralization of 
the Philippines be agreed at once by the United States and 
the Imperial Japanese government,- that within a reasonable 
period of time, both armies, American and Japanese, be 
withdrawn,- that neither nation should occupy bases in the 
Philippines,- that the Philippine Army be demobilized, the 
only organized force remaining in the Islands to be the 
Philippine Constabulary for the maintenance of law and 
order,- that Japanese and American noncombatants who so 
whished be evacuated with their own army under reciprocal 
and fitting stipulations. It was a great anxiety of mine to 
achieve independence for my people under the Americans. 
I wanted it done before the Japanese who played no part in 
this development could claim credit for it. 

When I submitted this question to my Cabinet, Lieutenant 
Colonel Roxas expressed serious doubts as to the effect such 
a proposal would have on President Roosevelt, and Vice- 
President Osmena was inclined to agree with Roxas. They 
frankly expressed to me their fear the President might think 
that we were weakening in our stand, or might misunderstand 
our motive. I told them that I was gravely concerned as to 
the reaction of the people, as well as of the Filipino leaders, 
to the offer of independence made by Premier Tojo, and 


I expressed the conviction that if Japan were to actually 
establish an independent government in the Philippines, 
the masses of the people who knew very little of the history 
of Japan in Manchukuo would fall into the trap and our 
leaders would be powerless in the face of such a situation. 
On the other hand, if the Japanese government should 
refuse to accept my proposal, the Filipino people and our 
forces would discover at once the perfidy of Tojo's promise 
of independence, and our spirit of resistance to Japan would 
naturally be strengthened. 

Again I explained to them my misgivings as to the ability of 
our forces to prolong their resistance with so little food and 
so much dysentery and malaria — a resistance which might 
be further weakened by their knowledge that the civilian 
population had accepted "independence" at the hands of 
Japan. After hearing my views, the Cabinet unanimously 
approved the sending of the message to the President of the 
United States. On the next day, President Roosevelt sent me 
the following answer: 

I have just received your message sent through General MacArthur. From 
my message to you of January 30, you must realize that I am not lacking 
in understanding of or sympathy with the situation of yourself and the 
Commonwealth Government today. The immediate crisis certainly 
seems desperate but such crises and their treatment must be judged by a 
more accurate measure than the anxieties and sufferings of the present, 
however acute. For over forty years American Government has been 
carrying out to the people of the Philippines a pledge to help them 


successfully, however long it might take, in their aspirations to become a 
self-governing and independent people, with the individual freedom and 
economic strength which that lofty aim makes requisite. You yourself 
have participated in and are familiar with the many carefully planned 
steps by which that pledge of self-government has been carried out and 
also the steps by which the economic independence of your Islands is 
to be made effective. May I remind you now that in the loftiness of its 
aim and the fidelity with which it has been executed, this program of the 
United States towards another people has been unique in the history of 
the family of nations. In the Tydings-McDuffie Act of 1934, to which you 
refer, the Congress of the United States finally fixed the year 1946 as the 
date in which the Commonwealth of the Philippine Islands established 
by that Act should finally reach the goal of its hopes for political and 
economic independence. 

By a malign conspiracy of a few depraved but powerful governments, 
this hope is now being frustrated and delayed. An organized attack upon 
individual freedom and governmental independence throughout the 
entire world, beginning in Europe, has now spread and been carried to the 
Southwestern Pacific by Japan. The basic principles which have guided 
the Unites States in its conduct towards the Philippines have been violated 
in the rape of Czechoslovakia, Poland, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, 
Denmark, Norway, Albania, Greece, Yugoslavia, Manchukuo, China, 
Thailand, and finally the Philippines. Could the people of any of these 
nations honestly look forward to a true restoration of their independent 
sovereignty under the dominance of Germany, Italy or Japan? 

You refer in your telegram to the announcement by the Japanese 


Prime Minister of Japan's willingness to grant to the Philippines her 
independence. I only have to refer you to the present condition of 
Korea, Manchukuo, North China, Indo-China, and all other countries 
which have fallen under the brutal sway of the Japanese Government, to 
point out the hollow duplicity of such and announcement. The present 
suffering of the Filipino people, cruel as they may be, are infinitely less 
than the sufferings and permanent enslavement which will inevitably 
follow acceptance of Japanese promises. In any event is it longer possible 
for any reasonable person to rely upon Japanese offer or promise? 

The Unites States today is engaged with all its resources and in company 
with the governments of 26 other nations in an effort to defeat the 
aggression of Japan and its Axis partners. This effort will never be 
abandoned until the complete and through overthrow of the entire 
Axis system and governments which maintain it. We are engaged now 
in laying the foundations in the Southwest Pacific of a development in 
air, naval and military power which shall become sufficient to meet and 
overthrow the widely extended and arrogant attempts of the Japanese. 
Military and naval operations call for recognition of realities. What we 
are doing there constitutes the best and surest help that we can render to 
the Philippines at this time. 

By the terms of our pledge to the Philippines implicit is our forty years 
of conduct towards your people and expressly recognized in the terms 
of the Tydings-McDuffie Act, we have undertaken to protect you to the 
uttermost of our power until the time of your ultimate independence had 
arrived. Our soldiers in the Philippines are now engaged in fulfilling that 
purpose. The honor of the United States is pledged to its fulfillment. We 


propose that it be carried our regardless of its cost. Those Americans 
who are fighting now will continue to fight until the bitter end. Filipino 
soldiers have been rendering voluntary and gallant service in defense of 
their own homeland. 

So long as the flag of the United States flies on Filipino soil as pledge 
of our duty to your people, it will be defended by your own men to the 
death. Whatever happens to the present American garrison we shall not 
relax our efforts until the forces which we are now marshaling outside 
the Philippine Islands return to the Philippines and drive the last remnant 
of the invaders from your soil. 

The effect of the foregoing telegram on me was 
overwhelming. I thought I could read between the lines 
more than what the President had actually said. I suspected 
that he had gone so far as to tell General MacArthur that if 
the Filipinos desired to quit, which they did not, no obstacle 
should be placed on our way,- that the President of the 
Philippines with his whole Government and his (Philippine) 
army could surrender if they wanted to, as long as they did not 
compromise any of the rights of sovereignty of the United 
States over the Philippines,- but that the American forces 
should fight for their flag and in defense of the Philippines to 
the last man. The Filipinos wanted to fight to the bitter end 
because of their gratitude to the United States and because 
they resented the ruthless invasion of their homeland. 

I first knew President Roosevelt when he was Under- 
Secretary of the Navy. I hadcloseandalmost personal relations 


with him after he had become President of the United States. 
From the first time that I had met him, his irresistibly winning 
smile had attracted me to him. I gave him from the beginning 
my personal affection. From my official dealings with him, I 
had come to the conclusion that he was a great statesman — 
with broad human sympathies and a worldwide knowledge 
of affairs,- a leader of men, with physical and moral courage 
rarely seen in a human being. I had become convinced of his 
extreme regard for the welfare of the Filipino people and his 
abiding faith in liberty and freedom for the human race. But 
I did not know, nor did I suspect that this man was so great 
as to be able to renounce the power, which was given him 
by the Philippine Independence Act, to compel the Filipino 
forces and people to stand by America in the defense not 
of America but of the Philippines during the period before 
complete independence. When I realized that he was big 
enough to assume and place the burden of the defense of my 
country upon the sacrifice and heroism of his own people 
alone, I swore to myself and to the God of my ancestors that 
as long as I lived I would stand by America regardless of the 
consequences to my people and to myself. We could not in 
decency be less generous or less determined than President 
Roosevelt. Without further discussion with anybody, I called 
my Cabinet and read them my answer to President Roosevelt, 
as follows: "I wish to thank you for your prompt answer to 
the proposal which I submitted to you with the unanimous 
approval of my Cabinet. We fully appreciate the reasons 
upon which your decision is based and we abide by it." 


That was the end of my worries. The course of the ship 
was definitely charted and at the helm I was ready to break 
through every rough sea, every torment and every hurricane. 
Nothing in the world would steer me away from my course. 
I pondered over the general situation and came to the 
conclusion that if the fight was to be carried on, Corregidor 
was not my place. I had to leave that beleaguered fortress 
at whatever risk and be with my people in the unoccupied 
territory so as to arouse to the point of supreme heroism the 
patriotism and loyally to America of every man, woman, 
and child. It was also necessary to marshal the resources 
of the country to provide supplies and cash for the Army 
in the Visayas and Mindanao and to send food to Bataan 
and Corregidor by every possible means at our disposal. 
After discussing the plan with my War Cabinet, I submitted 
the program or plan to General MacArthur who instantly 
approved it. Then I sent it. Colonel Roxas went to the front 
to prepare the Filipino generals for the news of my departure 
when the time came for making it known to them. On his 
return to Corregidor, Colonel Roxas reassured me that the 
Philippine Army would understand and fully approve of 
my departure. Then I asked General MacArthur to inform 
Washington of my plans. I also authorized him to destroy the 
silver currency we had in Corregidor if such action became 
necessary because of impending seizure by the Japanese. My 
order to this effect must have convinced President Roosevelt 
that I meant what I said when I informed him that I abode 
by his decision, for on February 15 received the following 


telegram from him: 

A radiogram just received from General MacArthur informed me that you 
have ordered that the silver currency, property of the Commonwealth 
Government, be destroyed, if such action becomes necessary because of 
impending seizure by the Japanese. It is extremely gratifying to have this 
added evidence of the absolute fidelity of your government and yourself 
to the United States and of your willingness to sacrifice in behalf of the 
ideals for which we are all striving. I am sorry that the necessity for secrecy 
prohibits my making public your splendid action for such indication of 
absolute singlemindedness of purpose of the United Powers inspires all 
our peoples to an accelerated exertion toward ultimate triumph. 

The next day General MacArthur informed Washington 
that it was my wish, concurred in by my War Cabinet, that 
the seat of the Philippine Government should be transferred 
to the free territory of the Islands, at first in the Visayas. 
We had expressed the feeling that we members of the 
Government would be of greater service to the cause if we 
could have direct contact our countrymen, which was not 
possible from Corregidor. 

The message further outlined our plan to maintain the unity 
and heighten the morale of the Filipino people in the free 
portion of the Islands, in order to oppose more successfully 
the enemy. 

General MacArthur occurred heartily with our plans and 
requested the authority to use submarines to get us out of 
Corregidor, which was approved by Washington. 



(Note: The following chapter has been prepared by former Governor- 
General Francis Burton Harrison, who was adviser to the late President 
Quezon. At President Quezon's request Governor Harrison kept careful 
notes of the former's expressed views on the subjects involved in this 
chapter. Governor Harrison was greatly assisted by data furnished to him 
by Colonel Manuel Nieto, President Quezon's principal military aide, 
who accompanied him in all his journeys after leaving Corregidor.) 

to remain in the theatre of war, where I felt my presence 
would be of service at that time. 

Finally, after nearly two months of siege and bombardment 
and upon the advice of General MacArthur and of my doctors, we 
decided to leave Corregidor for the, as yet, unoccupied zones of 
the Philippines. We felt that we might thus be able to encourage 
continued resistance in the free portions of our islands, and, above 
all, get some much needed food for our armies. 

N DECEMBER 30th, shortly after our arrival 
in the fortress, I had been asked by President 
Roosevelt to come directly to Washington, 
but I declined the invitation, for I was anxious 


The supplies hastily gathered in the narrow confines of 
Bataan and Corregidor had become greatly depleted and the 
food ration was already reduced to half. 

It was understood as we left, that, on account of differences 
in plans and of immediate destinations, High Commissioner 
Sayre was to await the return of our submarine for the 
departure of himself and his party. 

The departure took place, of course, after eleven o' clock 
at night when the moon had set. As the enemy was firing 
upon us from Cavite, no chances could be taken. 

The moment was tense and dramatic,- each clasp of the 
hands seemed to convey a question as to what fate had in 
store for us and for them. 

General MacArthur and all the High Command of the 
fortress were at the dock to bid us good-bye, and with them 
came General Manuel Roxas, then a colonel, and the only 
representative of my Government to be left on Corregidor. 
On him I conferred full powers as Executive Secretary of the 
President in the following order: 


February 18, 1942 

Dear Secretary Roxas, 

I have today designated you to act as Secretary to the President. In this 
capacity you are authorized, when in your judgment the circumstances 


so require, to act in my name on all matters not involving any change 
of policy. You are familiar with the policies of my administration, and I 
expect you to be guided by those policies in all matters of government 
requiring action or intervention on your part. 

With the respect to the assets of the Government now deposited in 
the Treasury Vaults, as you know, I have authorized General MacArthur 
to destroy the silver currency when in his judgment the military situation 
requires such action. As to the paper currency, you are authorized to 
withdraw from the vaults such amounts as may be necessary for official 
purposes, but always upon proper requisitions or vouchers. When in the 
opinion of General MacArthur it becomes necessary or convenient to 
take such action, you are also authorized to destroy the said currency. 
For this purpose you should designate or cause to be designated a group 
of officials to act as Destruction Committee. This committee should 
certify the destruction, and counterpart certificates should be prepared 
in your files and sent to the proper officials in Washington for purposes 
of record and future references. 

You are authorized to appoint a paymaster and such other officials as 
may be necessary to assist you in the performance of your duties. 

Sincerely yours, 


Hon. Manuel Roxas 


With me there went, of course, my family, Vice-President 
Osmena, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos, Major General 
Basilio Valdes, Father Ortiz, S.J., our Chaplain, and my 
senior aide, Colonel Manuel Nieto. The rest of my own 
party, including Lieutenant Colonel Velasquez, who had 
been serving as Chief of Staff of a division on Bataan, now 
my junior aide, Lieutenant Colonel Andres Soriano, now 
Secretary of Finance of my government, who had been 
serving at the front as intelligence officer on the staff of 
General Alfred Jones, my private secretary Serapio Canceran 
and my doctors had left the night before us on the fine inter- 
island steamer the Don Esteban. They could only travel by 
night, of course, stopping en route at three carefully selected 
hideouts during the daytime. 

On our departure from Corregidor I discarded the wheel- 
chair that had been necessary during the crisis of my illness 
while there. 

As we boarded the submarine Swordfish I shook hands with 
Commander Chester C. Smith of Boise, Idaho,- he looked 
so young and innocent! Yet, on his way up to meet us he 
had met a Japanese transport and had promptly launched a 
torpedo and sunk it. 

After threading the complicated mine-field which guarded 
the entrance to the bay, we rose to the surface and traveled 
the rest of the night through quite a rough sea. 

Poor Mrs. Quezon was sea-sick as were my two daughters 
who lay together in a tiny bunk, the feet of each to the other's 
head. As for my son Manuel, aged fifteen, he took all of his 


adventures like a little man. For him, the really important 
feature of the submarine was the wonderful food. He ate two 
dinners, one after the other, thus wiping out the memories of 
two months of short rations on Corregidor. He still talks of 
that food. 

The next day, at the break of dawn, we submerged through 
all the long hours of daylight above. This was an experience 
I found very hard to endure. Most men, I suppose, who 
have once been prisoners, as I had been for six months 
after the Philippine insurrection, suffer in after life from 
claustrophobia! At all events, something seemed to have 
gone wrong with the air-conditioning of that submarine, 
and it was for me almost intolerably hot and stuffy. The 
following day, Sunday, February 22nd at 2:40 A.M., we 
arrived at San Jose de Buenavista, in Antique province, 
which was our point of rendezvous with the S.S. Don Esteban 
that arrived an hour later. 

The Visayan Islands had not yet been occupied at any point 
by the enemy. To the southward they had seized the ports of 
Davao and Zamboanga on the great island of Mindanao and 
had occupied the Sulu Archipelago. The narrow seas about 
us were constantly patrolled by war vessels of the enemy. 

In the Visayas, there were no considerable quotas of our 
Army, and those in the service consisted for the most part of 
raw recruits or draftees. When their turn eventually came, 
they put up a gallant resistance. 

Bombing was already going on in Iloilo, but this, as 
yet, had achieved no very material damage. One incident 


brought us almost comic relief from the deadly serious 
nature of the situation. 

As soon as this grim war fell upon our peaceful and 
prosperous land, I had proclaimed daylight-saving for reasons 
recognized by all the peoples engaged in this conflict. But in 
the Visayas, at least, this measure had brought to us benefits 
quite unexpected. The Japanese, as is well known, operate 
on an exact schedule adopted long before hostilities begin. 
Everything with them is like a railroad time-table. Their 
rule, it seems, is invariably to bomb airfields at lunch- 
time — twelve o'clock noon. But after my proclamation of 
daylight-saving time, twelve o'clock Japanese time was one 
o'clock Philippine time, and at that hour people had not 
always returned to their work from luncheon. In Iloilo the 
members of the Lopez family, who owned an important 
airfield near that city, thanked me profusely for the lives I 
had saved by my proclamation. When the Japanese bombed 
their airfield near Iloilo, there was nobody there- they were 
all still at lunch. 

General Quimbo and Colonel Powell were sent in a 
launch by General Chynoweth, chief of the armed forces in 
Panay, to receive us. I decided to continue the trip to Iloilo 
by car accompanied only by my military assistants. Vice- 
President Osmena and Secretary of Justice Santos boarded 
the Don Esteban which took them to Iloilo, at which capital 
they arrived at 10 P.M. of the same day. 

We reached Iloilo at 7:30 in the morning and put up 
temporarily on the property of the Lopez family in a little 


nipa house on the beach. My object was, if possible, to keep 
my movements secret — an effort which was unsuccessful 
because word got around among the people, and it was 
necessary for the police to be called to prevent the house 
being over-run. 

The people begged me to explain what they were not able 
to understand — the reason for the bombardments and the 
war. They did not comprehend that in an armed conflict 
between the United States and Japan, our land necessarily 
became part of the field of battle. In each look I found 
intense anxiety to know when these horrors would come 
to an end. I answered as best I could and exhorted them to 
continue their struggle for the cause of democracy in the 
certainty that sooner or later the United States would come 
to our relief. 

At midday I proceeded to Ajui, site of the sugar factory 
of the Elizaldes, a place appropriate for my headquarters in 
Visayan Islands. The people in charge of the factory prepared 
for us a meal which seemed to us most lavish. This constant 
reference to the prosaic subject of eating might appear out 
of place to one who has been enjoying a good table. This 
is not the case, however, with those who, like us, had lived 
for more than two months on half rations, the half ration 
consisting of tinned goods without such indispensable items 
as coffee, milk, butter, etc. 

At three in the afternoon, I received the military and 
civil authorities of the three provinces of Panay. There were 
present, with general Chynoweth, the governors, provincial 


treasurers, auditors and attorneys and the manager of the 
branch of the Philippine National Bank. Panay was, through 
its proximity, supplies and facilities for shipment, the point 
from which one could most easily provide food supplies 
for the troops on Bataan and Corregidor. After giving 
instructions concerning the vital necessity of sowing rice and 
corn, I increased the price to be paid by the Government for 
these supplies and pointed out the patriotic duty of everyone 
to aid in their shipment to Corregidor and Bataan. Here I 
must say that those provinces reacted with the liberality and 
hospitality legendary among the Filipino people and I desire 
to make particular mention of Governor Hernandez of Capiz 
Province, who was in charge of the affair. From the well-to- 
do people down to the poorest, everyone brought what he 
could of fish and dried meat, rice, corn, fruit and eggs, which 
latter were particularly needed in the hospitals of Bataan and 
Corregidor. Thanks to this assistance which lasted until the 
only two vessels at our disposal were sunk by the Japanese, 
it was possible for our forces to continue fighting a month or 
so longer without starving. 

That same night, I decided to go to Negros and after 
dinner in Iloilo I went aboard the Don Esteban. 

The fixed lights of the strait which separates Iloilo from 
Negros were extinguished and the captain did not dare to 
make the crossing. Since it was not prudent, on the other 
hand, to voyage by day, because the enemy air force was 
constantly raiding the few vessels which could take provisions 
to Corregidor, I disembarked in Guimaras, a little island at the 


mouth of Iloilo River, where I passed the day, while Colonel 
Nieto returned to Iloilo to arrange with the Quartermaster 
Department the assignment of the S.S. Princess oj Necjros for 
my use during an inspection of the Visayan Islands. 

This permitted me to send immediately the Don Estehan to 
Corregidor with food supplies. She made a successful trip, 
but on her return she was bombed and sunk by the enemy. 
For the heroic crew of this vessel and of the S.S. Lecjaspi, which 
were unprovided with any means of defense, navigating in 
waters patrolled by enemy submarines and destroyers and 
under skies filled with airplanes, all words of praise sound 
feeble. Only men endowed with extreme patriotism and 
courage could have carried out these tasks. 

In the Princess oj Necjros I proceeded to Bacolod, capital of 
the Province of Western Negros. This is the principal sugar 
growing territory of the Philippines, and here are found 
the largest sugar factories. Here, also, the extreme tension 
between factory owners, planters and workmen, brought 
about by the war, naturally had become greater than in any 
other part of the country. These difficulties were so severe 
that the only course open to me was to direct the suspension 
of grinding and to authorize certain loans by the Government 
bank to enable wage payments to be made. 

Except for this, the Island of Negros had not yet been 
seriously affected by the war although news had been received 
of the bombardments, pillage, sacking and other calamities 
in Manila. Knowing so little of the war, they displayed the 
peculiarity of human beings who feel that they are remote 


from all danger and, with the utmost good faith, think of 
life in terms of enjoyment, entertainment, music and good 
times generally. To those of my party, however, who had 
seen so closely the horrors of war, this attitude seemed a 
shocking desecration. 

Two days later I decided to go to Eastern Negros, where 
we arrived on the 27th of February, and from here to save 
time I decided to send in advance Vice President Osmena 
and Secretary of Justice Santos to Cebu, and I directed the 
Insular Treasurer, Andres Soriano, to go to Mindanao. 

In this period and while I was traversing that province 
rapidly, not remaining more than two days in any town, 
since I assumed that the Japanese would learn of my 
stopping places, I will tell of only one, among many, of the 
frustrations which the Japanese encountered. We took with 
us to the Visayan Islands the remainder of the paper money 
of the Filipino Treasury which had not been destroyed on 
Corregidor, foreseeing that it might be necessary to use it 
in the payment of the troops in the southern islands. For 
this story, the actual amount of the funds in question is not 
important,- it is enough to say that there was a good fistful of 
millions, exposed always to the dangers of our journey. 

On the 16th of March at midnight a flash announced 
to me the presence the presence of Japanese destroyers in 
the Tanon Strait between the islands of Negros and Cebu, 
exactly where our Princess of Necjros was at anchor with these 
funds on board destined for the city of Cebu. At once, I sent 
my aide, Colonel Nieto, to the steamer to take charge of the 


funds — a thing which he succeeded in doing before dawn. 
Twelve hours later, the Princess of Negros was captured by a 
Japanese destroyer. My hair still stands on end when I think 
how nearly that money fell into Japanese hands. 

The Governor of Iloilo, Tomas Confesor, who later on, 
in the jungles at the head of guerrillas of Panay, was to 
distinguish himself as one of the extraordinary figures of the 
resistance against the invaders, had just arrived at Negros 
from Manila, whence he had escaped on board a small boat. 
He brought me the first direct impressions of events there, 
since the capture of that capital by the Japanese. 

With General Homma, Supreme Chief of the Japanese 
Occupational Forces, there entered into Manila Hideico 
Kihara, who for many years had been Japanese Vice- 
Consul in Manila and until November, 1941, had been 
Consul General in Davao. Kihara was a good mixer and 
had built up a number of friendly relationships among the 
Filipinos for which reason he was being utilized as advisor 
to the Japanese Army. 

Homma, advised by Kihara, convoked the entire official 
staff of the Filipino Government who had remained in Manila, 
at the head of whom were Jorge Vargas, my executive secretary, 
and Jose Yulo, the speaker of the Philippine assembly. 
Homma produced a plan of organizing a commission that 
should have in its charge the administration of civil affairs 
and should serve as a liaison between the military forces of 
occupation and the people. 

But notwithstanding the advice which I left for them 


before my departure to the effect that if they should be given 
an opportunity to cooperate in the administration of civil 
government, they should accept it in order that the interests 
of the people and public order and respect for property 
should be safeguarded, their answer was no! 

They were then told, as Governor Confesor related to us, 
that in view of their attitude, the Japanese found themselves 
obliged to place this duty in the hands of Filipinos who were 
more sensible and cooperative, that is to say, pro-Japanese or 
more pliable Filipinos. 

The officials then asked for twenty-four hours to make 
a decision, during which time it was their intention to 
send a courier to Corregidor to find out my opinion, but 
communication was already broken. 

There remained, therefore, no alternative but to accept 
or permit the placing of the interests of the Filipino people 
in the hands of individuals who might be mercenary, 
irresponsible, and unscrupulous, which would have spread 
alarm and demoralization throughout the country. Finally, 
their sense of responsibility came to the fore and they 
accepted the Japanese proposal, but not without laying down 
the condition that they should not be asked to renounce 
their loyally already given to the United States. 

In their zeal, these Filipino officials went even further. 
Although, logically speaking, the head of the new 
commission should have been Yulo, because he was speaker 
of the Assembly, elected by popular vote, they decided that 
it should be Vargas, who held only an appointive position, in 


order that none of their acts might be interpreted as bearing 
popular sanction or the endorsement of the public. 

In an earlier chapter on the battle on Bataan, some account 
has already been given of atrocities practiced by the Japanese. 
In the provinces around Manila there had been wanton 
and unnecessary bombings of several towns, working great 
destruction upon innocent people in places where there 
were absolutely no military objectives. But by far the most 
shocking story of atrocity perpetrated by brutal Japanese 
soldiery, evidently grown completely out of hand, was the 
number of cases of rape upon Filipinas in the provinces. Many 
of the girls died from this brutal treatment and nothing could 
have been more certain to leave a permanent scar of deep 
hatred among Filipinos against the conquerors than these 
awful crimes. 

Adopting the technique of the Germans in France, the 
Japanese had made earnest efforts in Manila more than 
anywhere else to capture the hearts of the Filipinos, hoping, 
no doubt, to reconcile them to Japanese rule and to wean 
them away from their loyalty to the United States. In this 
they made a dismal failure. On the surface our people were 
calm in the presence of the enemy who had invaded their 
country and occupied their cities. But to those who knew 
them well, as I do, it was hardly a matter of surprise to learn 
how deep was their hatred of the invader and how strong 
remained their devotion to the United States. 

While the Japanese High Command and military 
officialdom lavished smiles and respectful gestures on the 


Filipinos in social affairs, with the enlisted men it was quite 
the other way. The ruthless and fanatical Japanese soldier 
indulged in his cruel sport of slapping the first Filipino 
youth or old person who dared to pass in front of him 
with an air of difference or smoking a cigarette, which for 
them constituted lese-majeste. No woman who struck her 
fancy was safe from outrage. 

A complete revision of Philippine schoolbooks had been 
begun by the Japanese within six weeks of their triumphant 
entry into our capital. General Masaharu Homma, the 
Commander in Luzon, proposed the gradual elimination of 
English from our schools to be replaced by a wider use of 
Tagalog. We, ourselves, had already adopted Tagalog as our 
national language, in order still further to consolidate our 
people, and to reduce the use of other Malay dialects found in 
the different provinces. Nevertheless, English will probably 
always rank with Spanish in the Philippines as a requisite for 
all higher education. But General Homma's proposal had a 
far different and more revolutionary purpose. He wished, as 
he declared, to "eliminate the blind dependence upon Anglo- 
American culture and civilization," and to promote among 
Filipinos the "consciousness that they are Orientals." 

A recent Japanese broadcast by Domei stated that 
the Filipinos had lost the Oriental virtues owing to their 
association with Spain and the United States, and added, as 
proof of their assertion that they "thought only of clothes 
and how they looked." 

I am not aware that Vanity Fair is an exclusive monopoly 


of the Western world, but all of us must acknowledge that 
there are many virtues in Oriental philosophy and discipline. 
We Filipinos should be in a position to profit by the rich 
cultures of both the West and East. But the Japanese will 
never be able to accomplish by such appeals the absorption 
of the Filipino race into their body politic. The differences 
between us are too profound and too long established. 

The Filipino is, psychologically speaking, a Westerner. His 
concept of honor is, by heredity, Spanish: gallant, although 
generally humble and not presumptuous, he reacts violently 
against the least act of contempt. 

Of all the excesses committed by the Japanese, those 
which insulted the dignity and honor of the Filipinos are 
without doubt the ones which will leave the deepest and 
most irreconcilable wounds and make forever impossible any 
cultural union of any kind between the two races. General 
MacArthur has always held that the Philippines is a Latin- 
American nation and should be so treated. There were four 
hundred years of Spanish colonial empire in the Philippines 
which, even though imperialistic and inquisitorial in its 
operations, was in certain of its phases respectful of religious 
instruction, of culture, and of civilization. 

The Philippines is the only Christian country in the Far 
East, a fact which alone inevitably identifies us with Western 

Before the Japanese themselves had decided whether 
their own religion should be Shintoism or Buddhism, the 
Roman Catholic religion already existed in the Philippines, 


and there had been already founded the University of Santo 
Tomas, that spot which the Japanese have now converted 
into a concentration camp for Americans. 

Fifty years of association with American ideals, as inspired 
and practised by the United States in the Philippines 
with altruism and generosity have finally rounded out our 
apprenticeship and fixed our Western characteristics. 

We were told that the Pope had consented to receive 
a Japanese Ambassador at the Vatican. As there are some 
fourteen million Roman Catholics in the Philippines, now 
under Japanese domination, we welcomed this decision of 
the Holy Father. He could thus do his best to care for his 
flock in the Philippines. We learned that the Archbishop 
of Manila, Monsignor O'Daugherty, had been requested 
by the Japanese authorities to direct all his parish priests to 
cooperate with the Army of Occupation. He had refused on 
the ground that he had no opportunity to consult with his 
parish priests, and as they were all Filipinos and he was an 
American of Irish birth, he did not know how they would 
take it from him. Then the occupying authorities brought 
two Japanese Catholic priests down to Manila, and through 
them the cooperation of the Church was sought. 

We learned further that all the Protestant missionary clergy 
had been well treated, and that there had been no looting 
of church property, nor destruction of church buildings, 
Catholic or Protestant, except for the unfortunate demolition 
of the old buildings of Santo Tomas University in Manila on 
the day when the shipping in the Pasig River was bombed. 


The new buildings of Santo Tomas, some distance outside 
Manila, were now being used as a concentration camp for 
American, English and Dutch civilians of military age. The 
women and children and old men who were citizens of those 
nations were, at the beginning, left in their own houses, 
and were allowed to be provisioned by their own Filipino 
servants, though some of them were sadly inconvenienced 
by want of money. 

A good example of Japanese propaganda was the fabricated 
story of my death at the hands of Americans, as was published 
in all the newspapers in Manila. 

It had become a question of honor for the Japanese to end 
as soon as possible the campaign in the Philippines which 
was already taking too much time and constituted a cause of 
shame for their army which had announced that our islands 
would be conquered within twenty-five days. 

Singapore, Java, Sumatra, and Borneo, had already been 
conquered by the enemy and a part of the air and naval forces 
which had been concentrated in those regions could now 
be directed to hasten the conquest of Bataan, Corregidor 
and the Visayan Islands. So Tojo decided to send to the 
Philippines, general Yamashita, conqueror of Singapore, to 
replace General Homma who was at one time reported to 
have indulged in the traditional hara-kiri. 

The change was soon noticed not only in the increased 
pressure of the land and air forces on Bataan an Corregidor, but 
also in the naval activities which now commenced to draw a 
more rigid circle around the Visayan Islands and Mindanao. 


Cebu, which is the second capital in importance of the 
Philippines, was bombarded almost every day by enemy 
naval forces, an unmistakable indication that they intended 
to make that city their immediate objective. 

I felt that it was not prudent for the Vice-President to 
continue in Cebu and asked him to return. Things began to 
get difficult in that region and the long-cherished hopes of 
everyone for reinforcements from the United States began to 
wane. The symptoms were unmistakable,- we were definitely 
in retreat. 

My fears were soon justified. On March 17th, Colonel 
Soriano returned from Mindanao, whither I had sent him on a 
secret mission. He brought a letter from General MacArthur 
addressed to me, whose content speaks for itself: 


March 16, 1942 

Mr Dear Mr. President: 

As I radioed you yesterday, an entirely new situation and prospect has 
developed. The United States is moving its forces into the southern 
Pacific area in what is destined to be a great offensive against Japan. 
The troops are being concentrated in Australia which will be used as the 
base for the offensive drive to the Philippines. President Roosevelt has 
designated me to command this offensive and has directed me to proceed 


to Australia for that purpose. He believes this is the best way to insure the 
success of the movement. I was naturally loath to leave Corregidor but 
the Washington authorities insisted, implying that if I did not personally 
assume the command the effort could not be made. As a matter of fact, 
1 had no choice in the matter, being peremptorily ordered by President 
Roosevelt himself. I understand the forces are rapidly being accumulated 
and hope that the drive can be undertaken before the Bataan-Corregidor 
situation reaches a climax. I left there several days ago and by the time 
you receive this note, will have flown to Australia. I want you and your 
family to join me there. We have been completely identified together for 
many years, and you have been at my headquarters since the beginning of 
the war. It is the natural and proper thing for you to do to rejoin me at my 
headquarters in Australia in the great drive for victory in the Philippines. 
The Filipinos and the world at large would acclaim this in every way, 
and it would enthuse and inspire them. This is an entirely different 
proposition from the one we previously discussed which involved your 
leaving the country merely for the sake of security. The plan would be 
to have you fly from Del Monte in three of our big B- 17 bombers. The 
trip would take only nine hours and be done at night, and it does not 
represent a serious hazard. You could do it with no jeopardy whatsoever 
to your health. Flying at night would be at no higher altitude than eight 
or nine thousand feet, and the flight surgeons assure me that you would 
have no physical difficulty. General Sharp, who is in command here, will 
aid and assist you in every way. You will find him entirely sympathetic 
and cooperative. Inform him when you are ready as it will take me a little 
time to set the plan up. 

I am retaining full command here in the Philippines and have left part 
of my staff at Corregidor, pending my return there. Roxas remains there. 


All communications for me go there just as before. I am sending this note 
by Soriano, who has read its contents. 

We all join in expressions of love and devotion. 


His Excellency 

The President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines 

My own reaction is contained in the following telegraphic 

Buenos Aires, Neg. Occidental 
March 17, 1942 

General MacArthur: 

Your letter received and I accept your plan stop I need the three fast 
boats in Zamboanguita tomorrow night stop If they are not available 
send M/V Dumaguete which was at Iligan yesterday and the two fast boats 
referred to in your radiogram just received. 


This decision naturally made a radical change in the state 
of affairs. I desired that the few remaining members of my 
Government accompany me. The Secretary of Justice, Jose 
Abad Santos, decided, however, to remain behind. A little 


later he was made prisoner by the Japanese in Cebu. They 
offered him his liberty on condition that he would agree to 
make a campaign of pro- Japanese propaganda throughout 
those provinces. He refused and they shot him. Jose Abad 
Santos was one of the great figures belonging to the nation. 
The Filipinos will never pardon the Japanese for that crime. 

With my military staff, doctors and personnel, I again 
sought to fulfil the duty which in that crisis I considered 
sacred,- namely, to leave to each one the decision whether 
to remain or to accompany me. They all agreed to come 
with me. 


(Note: The following chapter has been compiled by Colonel Manuel 
Nieto, P.A., who was President Quezon's principal military aide. At the 
request of President Quezon's family, he has consented to serve as the late 
President's literary executor. Colonel Nieto was with President Quezon 
on Corregidor, left with him in the submarine for the Visayan Islands, 
and was with him daily on all his journeys and in the United States up to 
the time of the President's death on August 1 , 1944. Colonel Nieto kept 
careful notes of his important conversations with President Quezon and 
form these, supplemented by other records, he has complied this chapter 
of history.) 

danger, and the bravery of some of our countrymen came 
more into evidence than at any other time. Our departure 
had been fixed for ten o'clock that night and the place of 
rendezvous with the P-T boats had been determined — the 
Zamboanguita Beach at the extreme southern end of the 
Island of Negros. 

ARCH 1 8TH was without doubt the most 

critical day of all our journeys, since leaving 
Corregidor. On this date, our lives, even 
though we did not suspect it, were in greater 


General Wainwright, left by general MacArthur in command 
of the land and naval forces in the Philippines (since the air 
forces had become only a vague recollection) was given the 
charge of arranging immediately, within the resources at 
his command, for my evacuation from the Visayan Islands, 
and on him was laid the duty of guaranteeing my arrival at 
destination safe and sound. This was a rather large order, 
taking into account the activities of the enemy who seemed 
to have been well-informed of our movements and had taken 
steps to obstruct them. 

Finally flashes began to arrive concerning destroyers on 
raids south of Cebu, east and south of Negros, and north of 
Mindanao. Believing that there might be exaggeration and 
false alarms in these reports, I detailed my aide and Colonel 
Soriano not only to observe with their own eyes what was 
going on but to familiarize themselves with the terrain where, 
later on that night, we would have to go on board the P-T 
boats in the most complete blackout. As far as Zamboanguita 
Beach, they traversed the coast in a car, and Soriano took off 
in a small rickety airplane piloted by Major Fernando-an 
act which nearly cost them their lives. In this anxiety to 
make a complete survey of entire course which we would 
cover, he and his pilot nearly reached Mindanao and were 
obliged to return, since night was coming on. They had to 
make a forced landing on the beach near Dumaguete with 
no gas, no beacons and no landing lights. A man proves 
himself in times of danger, and Soriano, whom I never 
before had seen in that situation, gave convincing proofs 


of his character. For this and other services, I conferred on 
him a degree of Military Merit. 

There now was no doubt that the enemy destroyers were 
not simply around by chance but were following a deliberate 
plan of patrolling that part of the coast. In the meantime, 
our observers took for new destroyers all the vessels which 
were passing by, although in reality it was only the original 
ones returning. There was a time when they reported the 
presence of seven. Naturally this news alarmed General 
Wainwright, who ordered immediately the postponement 
of our departure until the following day. Later on, we knew 
that three of the seven destroyers reported by our nervous 
observers, were the P-T boats which came to take me away. 

Despite General Wainwright's order, I felt it necessary to 
push on. It was 10:30 at night. Something told me that since 
we were obliged to undertake this journey, the sooner we did 
it, the better. Nothing gives such courage as necessity. 

We arrived at Zamboanguita about midnight after 
experiencing the difficulties natural to a journey in caravan 
in the most complete darkness. The road ran along the coast 
and any light could cause our destruction. The exodus was 
painful and was made more so by the people who, alarmed 
by the news, clogged up the road with vehicles and baggage, 
prepared to flee into the mountains from the Japanese 
invasion, which they felt was imminent. 

At Zamboanguita, the P-T boats were not at the place 
agreed on. What should we do? Should we take this as 
providential sign that the journey should be suspended, 


as General Wainwright had ordered? When I recall those 
moments in which everything was confusion and darkness, 
within and around me, aware of all the dangers which 
surrounded me, suffering on my own account and on account 
on what I felt those dear to me- wife, children, relatives and 
friends- were suffering in silence, I almost believe that I was 
brave without knowing it. 

For a moment, my sense of responsibility found comforting 
relief through the intervention of an act of God. The P-T 
boats were not there. It was midnight. The thing definitely 
indicated was to retrace one's steps and I so ordered. 

I gave up thinking, since thinking was only suffering, and 
even continued suffering can bore one. I gave myself up to 
the designs of Providence with the fatalistic renunciation of 
one who leaves everything to the will of God. 

Silence reigned again, this time not even broken by the 
usual chatter of my daughters. We had completed almost half 
of the return journey. Suddenly, the sound of a horn, distant 
at first but growing in volume. A few minutes later, the lights 
of an approaching car illuminated the road. I ordered the 
chauffeur to stop. Two men, one of them with beard and 
waterproof hat, made themselves known. The army officer 
was Colonel Soriano,- the "old sea-dog" was Commander 
Bulkeley, in charge of the squadron of P-T boats. His ferocious 
aspect, far from repelling me, caused me in me a feeling of 
security. They had just arrived at Dumaguete and told me 
that there was no time to lose. I argued that my departure 
had been postponed by order of General Wainwright until 


the following day. 

A brief conversation took place between Bulkeley and 

"Mr. President, we must not delay. One of the P-T boats 
of my squadron has already been lost. Tomorrow may be too 

In reply, I asked him: "Do you guarantee to put me on 
Mindanao tomorrow?" 

"On my word of honor," answered Bulkeley, stoutly. 

Up to this time, all the decisions which involved risk of 
life for my wife or children had been taken after consultation 
with them, both when we left Manila for Corregidor and 
when we departed from there in the submarine. This time, 
however, I assumed sole responsibility. 

We resumed the journey. When we arrived at the wharf in 
Dumaguete, it was three in the morning. We proceeded on 
board — a job by no means simple, considering the number of 
persons who composed my staff and the quantity of baggage 
to be loaded on the two small P-T boats. It was necessary, 
moreover, to leave room for the crew of the P-T boat which 
had been wrecked in a fish trap that afternoon. At the end 
I had to leave behind my Secretary, Serapio Canceran, who 
followed in a sailing canoe. 

We had no time to lose since it was necessary to reach 
Mindanao before daybreak. Suddenly a violent wave 
released the propeller of one of the torpedoes on deck. 
This immediately commenced to spin very rapidly and 
produced a terrible whistling sound like the escape of 


compressed air. At the same time, a great flame shot up 
many yards into the air. 

This seemed to us to be our end. The alarm and confusion 
of the passengers on deck whose instinct of self-preservation 
made them hurl themselves toward the opposite side of the 
boat from the fire, can hardly be described. 

We then heard the voices of Bulkeley and Soriano seeking 
to restore calm and order. I sought to explain to myself 
what was going on and in my ignorance I could only think 
that of fire, however innocent its cause, was not the proper 
surrounding for an instrument as deadly as a torpedo. Shortly 
thereafter, order was restored. Later on, I was informed t 
hat thanks to the presence of mind of Bulkeley and of the 
two torpedo men, Houlihan and Light, the situation was 
promptly saved. These men rapidly unlashed the torpedoes 
and launched them into the sea. 

This had been no minor accident. According to Bulkeley 
if the flame had succeeded even in heating up the charge of 
explosives in the torpedoes nothing would have remained 
of the boat or ourselves. It is perhaps unnecessary to say 
that following this incident I conferred upon Bulkeley 
Houlihan, and Light the Distinguished Conduct Star of the 

At 6: 30 in the morning, we tied up to the dock at Oroquieta 
on the northern coast of Mindanao. 

We went ashore and I sought to pass unrecognized 
through the crowd on the wharf but it was not possible. We 
went directly to the church, where we gave thanks to God 


in our gratitude. In the meantime, our transportation for Del 
Monte was being ready made. Here, as may be guessed, I 
took good care to arrange the journey by land. I stopped 
in Dansalan, where we conferred with the military and civil 
government authorities. 

To the Moros who, in all the Philippine territory, inhabit 
only the islands of Mindanao and Jolo, and whose independent 
and belligerent character I had found it necessary on more 
than one occasion to suppress with armed forces, I took the 
opportunity to say that the time had now arrived when we 
would be happy to see them display their prowess against 
the Japanese. 

In Del Monte during the three days while we were awaiting 
the arrival of the planes, I lodged in a nipa house which an 
old friend built on a hill with the idea of remaining there for 
whatever time the war might last. 

When I had been preparing to leave Corregidor, my first 
intention was to take along with me Colonel Manuel Roxas, 
but he felt-and rightly- that someone had to remain there 
to maintain the morale of the Filipino troops. When I left 
Corregidor, I conferred on him the powers of Executive 
Secretary of the President. 

While I was in Negros, when the infiltration of the Japanese 
forces began, and prudence counselled the selection of the 
person who would succeed to the presidency of the country 
in case something should happen to me and to Vice-President 
Osmena, I selected, under the powers granted me by the 
Constitution, Colonel Roxas as our successor and issued the 


following Executive Order: 

Whereas the danger of the President of the Philippines being either 
killed or captured by the enemy is always present,- and 

Whereas, public interest demands that the succession of the Presidency 
be provided for so that at no time may the country find itself without a 
lawful head of the Government of the Commonwealth, 

That in case I or Vice-President Osmena should be unable to perform these 
duties, the Secretary to the President should become the President. 

Having notified President Roosevelt of this arrangement, 
I received a reply approving the action. 

I had previously arranged for Roxas to visit me in 
Mindanao and had there discussed with him the matter of 
his joining me in my trip to Australia, basing my opinion on 
the argument that the loss of the battle of the Philippines, 
which it was necessary to admit dating from the order given 
to General MacArthur to leave, put an end to our mission 
in the southern islands. I furthermore stated that I needed 
this services and assistance. He replied that he would do 
whatever I ordered but that his own thought was that it was 
his duty to remain in the islands. 

He seemed to feel that in his own particular case, as a 
soldier, to leave the country would be tantamount to 
desertion, and notwithstanding that he recognized as well 
as I did that we were lost in a military sense — because to 


continue hoping for reinforcements was vain and the days 
of Bataan and Corregidor were numbered — he insisted upon 
remaining. He knew, of course, that his only choice of fate 
would be to become a prisoner of war if he returned to 
Corregidor, or if he remained at large, to perish of hunger 
and illness in the jungles. 

That in Roxas there is a leader is clearly shown in his 
political career. He was born in the Province of Capriz, 
and after filling practically every public office, provincial 
and national, he became Governor of the Province and 
subsequently was elected a representative to the Philippine 
National Assembly, of which he was chosen Speaker. When, 
with Osmena, by himself, he went to the United States on 
various missions, representing the interests of the Philippines, 
Roxas distinguished himself by his brilliant talent, his 
statesmanship and his remarkable ability in using English. 

When General MacArthur organized the Filipino Army 
Roxas was among the first to come forward, and when the 
Japanese attack began, he promptly placed himself at the 
disposition of General MacArthur. 

The Filipino people could not afford to lose Roxas. It my 
duty to save him and for this reason I was so insistent upon 
his accompanying me. But, on the other hand, I asked my 
self whether I was certain of being saved my own self. That 
doubt in my mind and his own insistence upon remaining, 
influenced my final decision. 

When I reached Washington later on, and my illness 
continued to drain away my health, and when the 


responsibilities and problems of the government in exile 
increased, how many times did I regret not having forced 
him to come with me. This feeling was heightened by the 
news that he had been taken prisoner, because I feared that 
the Japanese, being aware of his ability, would offer him the 
presidency of the puppet government and, upon his rejecting 
it, as I was sure he would, they would shoot him, as they had 
Justice Santos. 

In a letter to General MacArthur, which I wrote on January 
6, 1943, from Washington, I said this: 

Not long ago, I sent you a telegram through the War Department 
requesting that you try to get Roxas out of Mindanao. I reiterate that 
request. To me it is of the utmost importance to save Roxas and bring 
him to the United States. Of course, if he is alive I have no doubt that 
he is doing a fine work wherever he may be, but I cannot conceive that 
he can do anything nearly as important as what he could do in United 
States at this time. When the time comes for our return, we would, of 
course, take him along. 

Please, General, find Roxas. He is needed by the Filipino people in the 
years to come. 

In another letter which I felt that I must write to General 
MacArthur, I gave expressions to my feelings in these words: 

The news that Roxas fell into the hands of the Japanese has broken 
me almost completely, for I suspect that after his insistent refusal to be 


President of the Philippines the Japanese might murder him. 

But oh, how proud I am of him! I almost envy him for he had occasion 
to do just what I wanted to do myself — to tell the Japanese that we want 
nothing from them. 

If Roxas has been murdered he is the greatest loss that the Filipino people 
have suffered in this war. He can't be replaced and 1 don't know how long 
[before] the race will produce another Manuel Roxas. 

He saved his people from eternal ignominy. Had he accepted the offer, 
Japan might have already established a Manchukuo or a Nanking regime in 
Manila, with him as the president and see how well informed those Japanese 
are as to who is who in the Philippines! They did not offer the presidency to 
Vargas or Laurel or Aquino or Yulo or Paredes — only to Roxas. 

Let us hope for the best. Can we not make him a major general or give 
him some decoration? 

In recording now the work of my Government during 
our stay in the Visayan Islands and Mindanao, it must be 
understood that my official authority was unaffected by the 
war, except in regions actually occupied by the Japanese. 
Martial law was not established in the islands by the American 

The military forces in Mindanao were under command of 
General Sharp who with Chynoweth in Panay and Hillsman 
in Negros, had really no substantial means of defense. 


But how great is the ingenuity and tenacity of man! 
This military post had one bulldozer-that famous machine 
which can demolish living rock. They assigned it to the 
Del Monte airfield. Now these men under General Sharp 
with this bulldozer accomplished the miracle of excavating 
the mountains which surrounded the airfield and making a 
hangar large enough to hold fourteen P-40 planes. 

To prove that they had not forgotten us, the Japanese 
planes came over us on various occasions during our stay in 
Del Monte. 

At 10:30 in the evening of March the 26th, with military 
punctuality the three large bombers which General 
MacArthur had sent from Australia to pick us up made their 

In planning our departure for Australia it was arranged 
that Vice-President Osmena was to travel in one plane and 
I in another so that both might not perish in one accident. 
Americans, who are so air-minded and so accustomed to travel 
by plane, cannot understand, I suppose, the apprehension 
with which I boarded an airplane for the first time. 

With me and my family, in our plane, came General Valdes, 
my aide, and Dr. Trepp. With Vice-President Osmena went 
the rest of the personnel. At 1 1 :20 P.M., we took off from the 
Del Monte airfield. My feelings on thus leaving my native 
land I will not attempt to express. 

We are already far on our journey. I was worried lest the 
great altitude should affect my heart because I recalled the 
difficulty which I had at only five thousand feet in Baguio, 


our summer capital,- but, at the same time, I realized that 
to travel high was necessary to avoid enemy planes. Thus, 
consideration for the heart was sacrificed because it was the 
lesser of two evils. 

If it came to the point, we could always take oxygen. 

The trip lasted nine hours. In normal times, we would 
have landed at Port Darwin but at that date this port was 
being bombed every day by the Japanese from their bases 
in Timor. We landed on Bachelor Field, which is sixty miles 

We were now in Australia but this was only a mile-post 
on our long journey. We had to keep on by plane. Outside 
of travel by water, flying was the only means of traversing 
those immense lands in the north of Australia where roads 
and railroads are unknown. 

We departed for Alice Springs not in a bomber this time 
but in a Dutch transport plane of the type which covered 
the route from Java to Europe,- the passage took five hours. 
Alice Springs, a name which seemed to suggest something 
of the type of summer resorts in America, turned out to be a 
little village of which the predominating feature was the flies 
found in such enormous numbers that the people there have 
to protect themselves with mosquito nets which hang from 
their hats down below their shoulders. We passed two days 
here because the plane in which Vice-President Osmena was 
journeying had to make a forced landing through the lack of 
fuel, and it took two days to locate it. 


Certainly, I did not envy the Vice-President that experience 
since one of the worse features in it for him-a man with the 
most punctual appetite which I have ever encountered in my 
life- was not the flies which prevented him from getting out 
from the plane but the absolute absence of food. I have known 
few men with as good a disposition as Osmefia in the face 
of every kind of vicissitude and obstacle,- he could encounter 
them with a contagious elegance provided, however, that at 
twelve noon the repast was ready. 

We covered, finally, the last stage of our plane trip. Six 
more hours brought us to Adelaide. There we were received 
by Colonel Huff, one of General MacArthur's aides. That 
same day, we took the train for Melbourne, where we arrived 
the following morning. General MacArthur, with his entire 
staff, were in the station to receive us. 

The people of Australia greeted us with great enthusiasm 
and were loud in their expression of gratitude for our long 
resistance on Bataan. They believed that this had given them 
time to prepare their own defense, and so had probably 
saved them. The Governor- General was most kind and 
appreciative. When I told him that my junior aide, Colonel 
Velasquez, had been in the front line at Bataan, he spent fully 
five minutes in talking with Velasquez. He thanked us all for 
our delaying battle which, he said, had preserved the future 
of the Australians. 

Upon our arrival at Melbourne, I asked General MacArthur 
to send to the Philippines the following proclamation: 



NR 50 


Publicize the following proclamation of President Quezon: 

"To the Filipino People and the Philippine Army: At the request of General 
MacArthur, I have left the Philippines and joined him at his headquarters 
in Australia. On previous occasions, suggestions have been made to me 
that I leave the Philippines, but I have refused to do it, determined to 
carry on with the affairs of Government in Philippine territory. 

"Upon the appointment of General MacArthur to command the Allied 
Forces in this part of the world, he invited me to join him upon the ground 
that we could continue to cooperate as we have done in the past better 
if we were together than if we were separated and with the difficulties in 
the means of communications. Having no other objective in mind than 
to free the Philippines, I did not hesitate to accept the suggestion of 
General MacArthur despite the hazards that the trip involved. And so I 
am here where I expect to be able to be of assistance in the reconquest 
of every foot of territory of my beloved country. It is my hope that the 
results of the appointment of General MacArthur to the High Command 
and my having followed his advice to join with him will soon be felt in 
the Philippines. 


"I call upon every Filipino to keep his courage and fortitude, and to have 
faith in the ultimate victory of our cause. 

"(Signed) MANUEL L. QUEZON" 


While at Melbourne, we received news of the tragic fall of 
Bataan. Here follows the press statement given by me upon 
that sad occasion, on April 1 1, 1942: 

The fall of Bataan closes a chapter in the history of the Filipino people for 
freedom as heroic, if not the most heroic, that we have ever fought. Side 
by side with their American comrades, first under the personal leadership 
of General MacArthur and later of Lieutenant General Wainwright, our 
forces fought without air support against a foe that had, at all times, absolute 
command of the air and the seas, and an overwhelming superiority in number 
of land forces. This fight lasted as long as resistance was humanly possible, 
for our forces gave up only after they had become exhausted from lack of 
food and continuous battle. I am proud of the part that the Filipino forces 
have taken in this epic battle and I am profoundly grateful to the whole army 
which has thus vindicated honor and right of the Filipino people to become 
an independent nation. Their country and countrymen will consider every 
man who took part in this battle as a national hero and will feel undying 
gratitude for the service they have rendered. 

The loss of Bataan as not ended the war in Philippines. Corregidor, the 


Visayan Islands, and Mindanao are still righting the enemy and I am 
certain that all these places will be defended as long as there are means 
with which to defend them. 

The Filipino people will stand by and with America and our allies to the 
bitter end. 

April 11, 1942 

We spent several days looking for a suitable house and 
I had not yet been able to confer with General MacArthur 
with relation to the campaign to be undertaken from there 
to retake the Philippines — perhaps because I became aware 
immediately of the shattering of our hopes. The forces which 
General MacArthur had expected to find on arriving in 
Australia were not there,- in fact, were not even on their way. 
Whatever forces could be gathered were desperately needed 
to defend Australia, which was at that time on the point of 
being invaded by the enemy. Only a few days previously, 
two Japanese submarines entered the harbour of Melbourne, 
itself, but luckily were discovered in time and sunk before 
they could do any damage to the number of transports 
gathered there. 

It was evident that there was nothing I could do in Australia 
but "vegetate," and I am not made for that. But, on the other 
hand, would I be able to do anything in the United States? I 
did not know. Probably not. Certainly I could do nothing to 


hasten the sending of forces which, if they had not already 
reached Australia, had failed to do so because of a situation 
which my presence would do nothing to solve. 

I consulted on this matter with the members of my Cabinet,- 
Vice-President Osmena was of the opinion that our proper 
place was in the United States, not only that we might cause 
to be recognized what the Filipino people had done for the 
United States but that we might contribute to the prompt 
dispatch to General MacArthur of the forces necessary for 
the prompt retaking of that country. 

Osmena honestly believed that Providence had guided 
our steps toward the accomplishment of a mission which did 
not end in Australia but in the United States, and he was so 
emphatic in his statements that he offered to go alone in 
case I should decide not to make the journey. In reality, if 
the matter had depended upon him alone, we would have 
gone to the United States in the same submarine in which 
we took passage from Corregidor. He actually proposed 
this to me but of course I was not in favor of this plan. In 
this same session of the Cabinet, the advisability of taking 
with us to Australia General Roxas and Colonel Romulo was 
discussed. The capture of the latter, who had often spoken 
on the radio from Corregidor against the Japanese in the 
broadcast entitled "The Voice of Freedom," would have 
meant his death,- hence,- it was considered very necessary to 
remove him to Australia. 

I felt that the Vice-President was right on the question of 
our going to the United States, and followed his judgment. 


MacArthur agreed with this and prepared our passage aboard 
the President Coolidcje. 

On going aboard, I left a letter for General MacArthur 
which reads as follows: 

Melbourne, Australia 
April 19, 1942 

My Dear General MacArthur: 

On the eve of my departure I desire to write down a few thoughts that I 
earnestly hope will make some impression on you. 

I am certain that, despite your new responsibilities and very high place 
in this great conflict, your heart is still with the Philippine Army which 
you have created, especially after the misfortune which has befallen it, 
not for lack of courage or will and ability to fight, but because of lack 
of means with which it could put up a winning battle. Remnants of the 
Philippine Army are still in Mindanao waiting for you to come and give 
them a chance to fight back victoriously. Until you are ready to return in 
force, there will be very little that can be done for them except to send 
them supplies. But there is a group there for whom something can and 
should be done at once. I am referring to the Philippine Air Corps men 
who are now in Mindanao. Won't you pick a few those men and bring 
them here and constitute a squadron with them so that they might do 
their bit in the fight in the air that is going on? I am told that these boys 
can hold their own against the enemy. 


The general feeling of depression and helplessness which the Filipinos 
both in the Philippines and abroad feel would in part be relieved with 
the knowledge that a unit of the Philippine Air Force, no matter how 
small, takes part in the reconquest. This would make us all feel proud and 
encouraged. I therefore appeal to you and fervently hope that you will 
do what you can to bring a few Filipino pilots from Mindanao, give them 
planes and create a unit with them. 

I would also appreciate it if you could give the Silver Star to General 
Valdes, Colonel Nieto, Lieutenant Colonel Soriano and Lieutenant 
Colonel Velasquez. Every one of these men have dared death in Bataan 
and in the trips they have made with me. I know they have the courage 
which deserves that decoration. 

There are may Filipinos who are here in Australia, all of them either 
officers and crews of ships that have been taken over by the USAFFE, 
or Filipino soldiers. I hope the United States Government will take 
care of them and pay their salaries until the war is over. Should there 
be cases that the American Army cannot properly care for, I give you 
full authority to order Lieutenant Colonel Jose McMicking, whom I am 
appointing as disbursing officer, to pay such sums of money as you may 
think equitable. I am leaving sufficient amounts in the Commonwealth 
Bank of Australia to cover this. 

It is hardly necessary for me to reiterate my grateful appreciation for 
everything that you, General Sutherland, General Marshall, and the rest 
of the men under your command, including General Sharp of Mindanao 
and others, have done for me. I confidently expect that we are not parting 


company for good, but that we will continue the work which we have 
started of making the Philippines and the Filipino people prosperous, 
happy, free, and a strong nation. 

With love to you, Mrs. MacArthur, and Arthur I am, as ever, 

Devotedly yours, 

At the farewell, General MacArthur was on board with his staff,- 
General Sutherland, General Marshall, his deputy Chief of Staff, 
General Willoughby and others. I embraced General MacArthur 
with that feeling of presentiment of coming misfortunes which 
always seems to me to exist during farewells. 

Again I found myself aboard the sumptuous President 
Coolidcje, in which I had more than once crossed that ocean 
which no longer could be correctly called Pacific. What 
a change! The floating palace had been converted into a 
troopship. Those salons for pleasure, for reading, for dances 
and concerts, were changed into a scaffolding of cots which 
reached up to the ceiling. 

The crossing took eighteen days without untoward events 
but with the idea of danger constantly present through the 
daily drills with life-preservers on, and the eternal zigzagging 
of the steamer to avoid submarines. On the morning of May 
8th we reached San Francisco. 

At last we were again on American soil, ready to take up 
our life long struggle for independence with the aid of the 


Government and people of the United States. We were met at 
the dock by the Assistant Secretary of the Interior Chapman, 
who represented Secretary Ickes, and by Lieutenant General 
De Witt, who represented General Marshall. 

I found on our arrival in San Francisco that President 
Roosevelt had sent us a special railway train to bring us 
across the continent. When we reached the United Station 
in Washington, there stood the President himself to welcome 
us. Back of him I saw a reception committee made up of 
members of the Cabinet and of all living Governors-General 
and High Commissioners of the past twenty years. 

We were conveyed to the White House as guests for 
overnight, and the dinner that evening was attended by the 
President and the members of his Cabinet. To them, in response 
to a gracious toast by the President, I gave the bare outline of 
some of our recent experiences, concluding with a quotation 
from my address made at Manila on Hero's Day, before the 
students of the University of the Philippines, just six days before 
the first Japanese attack upon us. I had told them: 

I pray that our people may be spared the horrors of war, but if it comes 
to us, I shall welcome it for two reasons: first, that we may show the 
people of the United States that we are loyal to them,- second, that 
you may learn to suffer, and, if needs be, to die. For many years now of 
the material prosperity which has come to our wealthy families under 
American sovereignty, you have come soft — you think only of dancing 
and cabarets. But only those who know how to suffer and to die in order 
to be free are worthy of that freedom. 


On June 2nd I had the pleasure of addressing the House 
of Representatives in the historic hall where I had spent 
seven years of my young life as Resident Commissioner from 
the Philippines. I felt greatly honored by the invitation to 
address the House, as its guest, and recognized many friends 
among the members present. 

I told them the story of Sergeant Jose Calugas of the 
Philippine Scouts, and had read into the record the citation 
for the award of the Medal of Honor to this, the only Filipino 
who has as yet received that high honor. 


By direction of the President under the provisions of the act of Congress 
approved July, 1918, a Medal of Honor was awarded by the War 
Department in the name of Congress to Jose Calugas, sergeant, Battery 
B, Eighty-eighth Field Artillery, Philippine Scouts, United States Army 
for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of 
duty in action with the enemy at Culis, Bataan Province, P.I, January 
16, 1942. When the battery gun position was shelled and bombed until 
one piece was put out of action and casualties caused the removal of 
the remaining cannoneers to shelter, Sergeant Calugas, mess sergeant 
of another battery, voluntarily, and of his own accord, proceeded one 
thousand yards across the shell-swept area to the gun position and joined 
the volunteer gun squad, which fired effectively on the enemy, although 
heavy bombing and shelling of the position continued. 


Two days later, on June 4th, I spoke before the Senate of 
the United States. This was an occasion which impressed me 
very deeply. I must confess that while in the past I had always 
hoped to become one day President of my own country, it 
had never entered my head, in my wildest dreams, that I, the 
Baler boy, would one day be invited to address the Senate of 
the United States. 

In giving an account of the Filipino participation in this war, 
it would be improper to omit the man most closely associated 
with that participation, General Douglas MacArthur. I do 
not desire to pen a eulogy for one whose military career, 
covering two wars, has already accomplished the task. 

All Americans know this, as well as the intense zeal 
with which he carried out our plan for the organization of 
the Philippine Army. Equally well-known is the military 
genius with which he directed the American-Filipino 
forces which so heroically defended the freedom of the 
Filipino people, the integrity of their land, and the honor 
of the American flag. 

Those of us who have seen him in the most anxious days 
when Japanese bombs were shattering to pieces everything 
around him, have learned that this man's courage was 
greater than his caution. He never sought a shelter or 
covered his head with a helmet in the midst of the worst 
air raids. On the Rock of Corregidor, Douglas MacArthur 
was a rock of strength and a source of inspiration for all 
who fought by his side. 


General MacArthur knows better than anyone the 
complexities of warfare in the Pacific because he found 
himself surrounded by these problems from the very first 
day of the attack. He knows how to defeat the Japanese, 
and the values and factors of the strategic-psychological 
kind upon which peace must be established in the Pacific 
regions. Certain it is that in planning his return to the 
Philippines, which he considers his second fatherland, he 
is following his own wishes for the accomplishment of a 
legitimate revenge, but apart from the sentimental side, 
he sincerely believes that the Philippine Islands are the 
only strategically sound road to Japan. 


Submitted as 

Midterms Examination by 
Proofreading and 
Copy Editing Class of 
Manuel L. Quezon III 

Sybil Alacar 
Erickson Beco 
Honey Cabanza 
Jennyln Chua 
Aubrey Diligencia 
Joey Garcia 
Janice Miguel 
Lawrence Solis